Easter rail upgrades complete and the ‘Great British Rail Sale’ begins

Network Rail says it has completed essential upgrades to the railway between London Euston, the Midlands, the North West and Scotland over Easter.

Euston station reopened today (April 19th) as the ‘Great British Rail Sale’ began this morning, where the price of more than a million train tickets has been cut by up to half between the 25th of April and the 27th of May.

Describing the move as “just one small part of tackling the cost of living”. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the sale will offer people “the opportunity to visit friends and family” and to use the rail network again since the pandemic.

Journey savings include a single from York to Leeds at £1.50, London to Manchester as low as £23 and Birmingham to Nottingham at £5.30.

Meanwhile, teams carried out vital work to improve passenger and freight services on the West Coast mainline over the bank holiday as part of a £22m investment across Network Rail’s North West and Central region.

  • 1km of track drainage was replaced at Beechwood Tunnel between Birmingham International and Coventry
  • Bridge renewal works at Coventry South Junction and HS2 enabling works at Hampton-in-Arden
  • Rugby Road railway bridge in Leamington Spa replaced as part of a £2.4m investment
  • Signalling and track improvements on lines around Crewe station
  • Track maintenance around Liverpool South Parkway
  • Track improvements to allow more train flexibility at Watford North junction into London Euston
  • Railway foundation stone upgrades on the West Coast mainline at Carnforth
  • Track replacement on the West Coast mainline in Carstairs in Scotland

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “Hundreds of frontline staff worked throughout the bank holiday to improve journeys for passengers and freight in the North West and Central region and I’m immensely proud of them and our contractors who helped Network Rail deliver these major upgrades. This is just the start of 2022’s work to make the West Coast mainline more reliable for our passengers and pave the way for HS2, Britain’s new zero-carbon railway.

“Now our attention turns to the Early May Bank Holiday when more essential railway improvements will take place. Once again Euston station will be closed so passengers are being urged to travel either side of the bank holiday on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May.”

Over the Early May Bank Holiday, a further £19.1m is being spent to improve passenger and freight journeys for the future.

This work means Euston station will be closed to mainline train services between Saturday April 30 and Monday 2 May due to major track upgrades in Watford and Wembley, including work to build Britain’s new zero-carbon railway HS2.

Network Rail is advising that the best time to travel will be on Friday 29 April and Tuesday 3 May.
Passengers needing to travel on the days in between could have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses.

Other essential works which will require the railway to be closed for periods between 30 April and 2 May are: