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Bank holiday work goes ahead


Network Rail to carry out extensive improvement programme as planned

Network Rail is to carry out a major bank holiday works programme employing over 14,000 people this weekend.

The engineering work had been under threat as a result of a strike by Network Rail workers from the TSSA and RMT unions, but following the decision by the unions to suspend the industrial action the work is to go ahead as planned.

As part of the ongoing Thameslink programme, works at London Bridge mean that Charing Cross, Cannon Street and Waterloo East stations will all be closed across the weekend, while Southeastern services will not serve London Bridge, except for trains to and from Hastings.

Thameslink Programme director Simon Blanchflower said: ‘Long weekends are absolutely crucial to the success of this project as they give us enough time to do the big jobs, such as relaying the railway, while inconveniencing far fewer passengers that we would on a weekday.’

Work in the south east also continues as part of the East Kent resignalling, with work taking place between Gillingham and Faversham, while track laying for the Crossrail project will take place between Abbey Wood and Plumstead.

Services into and out of Liverpool Street will be disrupted on Sunday 24 and Monday 25 May, as a new bridge is built at Pudding Mill Lane for Crossrail, and Abellio Greater Anglia services will therefore terminate at Stratford.

Major works are also taking place in the Swindon area as a major signalling upgrade enters its final stages. No trains will be able to call at the station on 23 and 24 May, with services diverted onto alternative routes.

On the Midland main line, work to install track south of Leicester and renew a junction at Bedford means disruption to East Midlands Trains services, which will be unable to run through to London St Pancras.

On the West Coast main line, work as part of the Staffordshire Area Improvements Programme continues, with new signals being installed along with an amended track layout at Stafford. At Norton Bridge, a rail-over-rail flyover is also being built. Further north, track is being renewed and trees cleared from the lineside between Crewe and Wigan.

There will also be some disruption on the Chiltern route due to track replacement work at Banbury on 24 May, with buses replacing trains between Banbury and Leamington Spa.

North of the border, Network Rail is delivering a range of projects across the West Coast main line and Lanarkshire commuter routes to renew and maintain track and drainage on the cross-border route and to replace a bridge near Newton in Lanarkshire.

Mark Carne continued: ‘Our investment programme this bank holiday forms a key part of our £38 billion railway upgrade plan that is aimed at meeting surging demand and improving and expanding our congested railway network.’

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