Rail (UK)

West Coast Main Line clo­sures to en­able key HS2 work

- Business · London · Network Rail Route 18 · United Kingdom · Birmingham (England) · Warrington · Preston · Lancashire · James Dean · Crewe · Crewe Alexandra F.C.

Ap­proach lines into Lon­don Eus­ton will be closed for a com­bined 13-week pe­riod next year, as work be­gins on cre­at­ing space for HS2 Phase 1.

Two lines into the West Coast Main Line ter­mi­nus will be out of use from April 2-May 17 and July 17-Au­gust 31, to en­able prepara­tory work to start.

Net­work Rail called it one of the most com­plex in­fra­struc­ture changes to ever take place at Eus­ton and said that WCML op­er­a­tors were work­ing to de­velop a ded­i­cated timetable for the pe­riod. This is ex­pected to re­flect po­ten­tial and on­go­ing changes to de­mand due to COVID. Plat­form and ser­vice al­ter­ations will be re­quired.

When the re­de­vel­oped sta­tion opens, it will have 11 400-me­tre plat­forms, a new con­course, and im­proved con­nec­tions to Eus­ton and Eus­ton Square Lon­don Un­der­ground sta­tions.

It’s planned that HS2 will more than dou­ble the num­ber of peak­time seats from the sta­tion when the new rail­way be­gins serv­ing it (ex­pected to be from 2031 at the ear­li­est).

Up­grade work on the WCML has also been sched­uled to take place over Bank Hol­i­day week­ends next year, to co­in­cide with the work tak­ing place at Eus­ton.

“Our work will make the West Coast Main Line more re­li­able for our pas­sen­gers and pave the way for HS2,” said NR West Coast South Route Direc­tor James Dean.

Pa­trick Caw­ley, Direc­tor of On Net­work Works for HS2 Ltd and NR, added: “In­vest­ing in HS2 will cre­ate ad­di­tional rail ca­pac­ity across the ex­ist­ing UK net­work, pro­vid­ing more lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter-city ser­vices.

“Al­though some dis­rup­tion to the cur­rent rail ser­vice is un­avoid­able in the short term, in prepa­ra­tion for this we have com­pleted other ser­vice up­grades to min­imise im­pact, such as in­creas­ing plat­form lengths at busy sta­tions on the

West Coast Main Line.”

The ad­di­tional Bank Hol­i­day week­end work will take place on April 2-5, May 1-3/29-31 and Au­gust 28-30, and will in­clude track re­newals between Rugby and Birm­ing­ham, Crewe-War­ring­ton, Pre­ston-Lan­caster and CarstairsC­arlisle.

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