Major work on major railway line between Rugby and Milton Keynes begins today

The work will continue until January 12

Avanti West Coast train passing Willesden track upgrade worksite March 2021. Photo credit: Network Rail.

Passengers are using the West Coast Mainline between Rugby and Miltion Keynes will need to plan their journeys from today, January 4, as major work to protect the West Coast main line from the risk of flooding begins.

Between 4-12 January, railway drainage upgrades will improve future journeys between Milton Keynes and Rugby.

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James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “This major work on the West Coast main line is vital to protect it from the risk of future flooding.

"We always try to do our work with the least disruption to passengers as possible, and during this project we can keep people on the move by using a diversionary route.

"However, there will be fewer services, longer journey times and some passengers may need to change trains, so I’d urge people to please check National Rail Enquiries before they travel.”

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “As Network Rail carry out essential works near Milton Keynes in January, there’ll be changes to our services and extended journey times to and from London Euston.

"We strongly recommend you make a reservation, plan your journey in advance as well as check the National Rail Enquiries website before travelling.”

The work will prevent heavy rain from flooding tracks, making the economically important rail route more reliable for passengers and freight.

During the improvements, trains will be diverted via Northampton to bypass the 2.5-mile trackside drainage work.

This will add around 25 minutes onto West Coast main line journeys for Avanti West Coast customers.

London Northwestern Railway will run fewer services between Crewe and Euston and passengers will need to change trains at Rugby.

Passengers are urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk and plan their journeys in advance.