11 July 2023
Passengers advised of changes to journeys while engineers upgrade West Coast Main Line.
Network Rail is carrying out a programme of upgrades on the Trent Valley line between Saturday 15 and Sunday 23 July. Rail passengers are being advised of changes to journeys over nine days from this weekend while engineers invest millions of pounds improving future journeys on the West Coast main line through Staffordshire.
Investment at Colwich Junction which will see engineers: install 2km of new track, replace 3,300 railway sleepers and lay 2,500T of new ballast. At the same time work will continue to renew the railway signalling system in the Trent Valley area.
During the closure, engineers will remove Cross City line platform 3 at Lichfield Trent Valley station.
Long-distance trains will use alternative routes, and rail replacement buses will keep passengers on the move between stations on the Trent Valley line. With the work coinciding with ongoing strike action by the RMT and ASLEF unions, travellers should follow the latest travel advice from their train operators websites: Avanti West Coast, West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway.
Dave Penney, Network Rail North West and Central region passenger director, said: “These major track and signalling improvements on the Trent Valley line will mean better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in future. However, complex upgrades like these mean we have no choice but to close sections of railway for old sections of track to be ripped up and replaced with new, and for new signalling equipment to be installed and tested.
“Given this work is over the summer holidays I’d urge anyone planning to travel between July 15-23 to please check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys. I’d also like to thank passengers in advance for their patience.”
At the same time, HS2 is planning to move new bridge structure into place while no trains are running on this busy section of the West Coast main line. Workers have been building the 6,500T concrete bridge beside the railway over the last six months. It will be slowly driven into place on the back of a huge transporter vehicle to become a 56m long and 19m wide bridge to carry the existing railway southeast of Lichfield Trent Valley station.
In the space created underneath, HS2 lines will be built in the coming years and allow Britain’s new high-speed railway to pass beneath the West Coast main line in future.
Saturday July 15 also marks the start of a six-month closure of the interchange with the Cross City line at Lichfield Trent Valley station for platform three to be demolished and rebuilt.