13 April 2023
All four lines of the West Coast main line were closed in Watford over the long bank holiday weekend so dozens of engineers could complete improvements to a railway junction.
The railway between London Euston and Milton Keynes reopened for passengers and freight earlier this week, after major upgrades over Easter. All four lines of the West Coast main line were closed in Watford over the long bank holiday weekend so dozens of engineers could complete improvements to a railway junction.
For the last two years new track, switches and crossings have been installed to allow greater flexibility for trains to change between lines when coming in or out of the capital. This gives railway signallers more options to divert trains during periods of disruption, and increase the number of services which can run through the area in future.
The junction upgrade has taken place over Easter and early May bank holiday weekends since spring 2021 and has cost a total of £15m. This week, Network Rail released photographs of the work taking place, alongside footage of upgrades to platforms which were also carried out at Euston while the station was closed over the extended Easter break.
Watch some of the work carried out in the video, below:
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “I’d like to thank people travelling over Easter for their patience while we carried out our essential railway upgrades to improve journeys for passengers and freight in the future. “We never take the decision to close Euston station lightly, and this major railway junction overhaul in Watford just wouldn’t have been possible without closing all four lines entirely.
"Now it’s complete – after two years of major work – passengers will start to see the benefits immediately as it will mean faster, more reliable journeys for trains travelling on the West Coast main line in and out of the capital.”
Further essential upgrades are planned on sections of the West Coast main line between Saturday April 29, and Monday May 1. These include: Overhead line work to prepare for hot weather at Euston and Kings Langley, track upgrades at Harrow and Wealdstone, overhead line upgrades as part of a year-long power supply upgrade project at Bushey, upgrades to track foundation stone at Willesden North and Watford South Junction, plus track renewal at Sunnyside between Berkhamstead and Tring and at Chadwell Farm
Euston will be closed on Sunday April 30, with trains terminating again at Milton Keynes with bus shuttle services to Bedford so passengers can catch trains into London St Pancras.
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