Future engineering work

PAGE LAST UPDATED: 03/03/2015 20:20. Update now

See details of routes affected by planned engineering works, including when they take effect, maps of the affected area, alternative timetables, advice for alternative travel and real-time updates.

Major improvement works affecting trains between Watford Junction and London Euston from Friday 3 to Monday 6 April 2015

Start date
End date
Route affected
Download map of route afected

All routes to and from London Euston and between Milton Keynes Central and Clapham Junction

TOC(s) affected
London MidlandSouthernVirgin Trains

In the past 15 years, the number of trains using the West Coast Main Line has doubled - and it's getting busier. Much of the infrastructure around Watford dates from the 1960s and with trains running around the clock it's becoming increasingly unreliable.

During the Easter bank holiday weekend, Network Rail scheduled improvement works will take place, replacing tracks all around the Watford area, renewing the signalling system and replacing overhead lines too. The works will help make the route more reliable and robust,  resulting in fewer delays, better punctuality and providing more comfortable journeys.  

The Improvement works, when complete, will:

  • Renew all signalling between Kings Langley and Bushey allowing greater flexibility and quicker return to a normal service after disruption
  • Lay over 15km (9 miles) of new track giving a smoother journey
  • Modify the overhead line equipment to make it more reliable       
  • Reconstruct Orphanage Road Bridge to allow for future line speeds of 125 mph

Work to improve the West Coast Main Line, planned for 14/15 and 21/22 February, has been cancelled to maintain a direct route between the West Midlands and London. The work was to take place in Watford over two weekends and would have blocked the main line from London Euston. Passengers would have been redirected onto trains on the Chiltern route between Birmingham, Banbury and London Marylebone, but that was blocked by a huge landslide and will remain closed for several weeks.

London Midland services between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton will not run.

On Friday, Saturday and Monday, London Euston to Birmingham New Street / Crewe services will run between Northampton and Birmingham New Street / Crewe only. A half hourly train service will run between Hemel Hempstead and Northampton. Trains between Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International / Coventry / Northampton will run to an amended timetable. Buses will run between Stanmore (London Underground) / Watford Junction and Hemel Hempstead.

On Sunday, trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street / Crewe will run between Northampton and Birmingham New Street / Crewe only. Until 10:00, replacement buses will operate between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central / Northampton and after 10:00, replacement buses will operate between London Euston and Hemel Hempstead / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton, with a special hourly train service running between Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes Central.  

Buses will replace trains between Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey. 

No Southern service will run between Watford Junction and Clapham Junction. Passengers may travel via London Underground, London Midland and London Overground services.

Virgin Trains services will start / terminate at either Rugby or Milton Keynes Central. Passengers should use London Midland services between London Euston and  Milton Keynes Central.

Planning your Journey

For full details of the changes and the impact on your journey, please use the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner