Future engineering work

PAGE LAST UPDATED: 20/10/2014 12:22. 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 over a series of weekends until April 2015

Start date
24/12/2014 
End date
07/04/2015 
Route affected

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

 
TOC(s) affected
London MidlandSouthernVirgin Trains
Description

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.

Over a series of weekends until April 2015, Network Rail will be replacing three critical junctions to the north and south of Watford and renewing the signalling system in the area. It will also replace the track crossovers with track that is easier to maintain, reducing future disruption due to maintenance, resulting in fewer delays, better punctuality and providing more comfortable journeys.

Over the middle three weekends in August, including the bank holiday Monday, Network Rail closed the railway at Watford Junction, to continue this work. Engineers installed new track, ballast and signalling equipment, on a tight schedule, ensuring the railway was handed back to train operators on time. When the project is completed in Easter 2015, journeys through Watford will be smoother and faster.

To see how work was carried out in August you can watch a video here 

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

 

The line between Watford Junction and London Euston will be closed on the following dates to allow for this work:

2014

  • Thursday 25 December 2014 to Sunday 28 December 2014 (the line between Wolverhampton and Stafford is also closed this weekend)

2015

  • Saturday 14 February 2015 to Monday 16 February 2015
  • Saturday 21 February 2015 to Monday 23 February 2015
  • Friday 3 April 2015 to Tuesday 7 April 2015

 

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

No trains will run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 December, a severely reduced service will run as follows:

Virgin Trains services will start / terminate at either Rugby or Milton Keynes Central. An hourly train service will run between Birmingham International, Coventry and London Euston via the Chiltern lines.

Virgin Trains are advising passengers to use the following routes:

  • Between Manchester and London should travel via Sheffield and London St Pancras International
  • Between Liverpool and London should travel via Nuneaton and Leicester
  • Between Glasgow and London should travel via the East Coast mainline
  • Between Birmingham International and London a direct train will run between Birmingham and London Euston via the Chiltern Lines

 

London Midland services between London Euston and Tring / Milton Keynes Central / Northampton will not run with Birmingham New Street and Crewe services running between Northampton and Birmingham New Street and between Northampton and Crewe only.

London Midland are advising passengers to use the routes from this link

Replacement buses will run between Stanmore (London Underground) / Watford Junction and Hemel Hempstead.

A half hourly train service will run between Northampton and Hemel Hempstead.

No Southern service will run between Watford Junction and Clapham Junction. Passengers should use London Midland and London Overground services.