Major railway line at Milton Keynes to close for two weeks for drainage works
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The work will improve future journeys on the mixed-use passenger and freight railway line, which is said to be the "backbone of Britain" and the busiest in Europe.
They include track being replaced and major drainage improvements in the Victorian-built Kilsby tunnel near Daventry.
This will stop tracks in the tunnel flooding during bad weather, making this key section of the West Coast main line more reliable for passengers and freight.
When complete, a temporary speed restriction imposed because of poor track quality can be lifted - ending delays experienced by thousands of passengers on the route in recent years.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast Mainline South route director, said: “The West Coast main line is the backbone of Britain and keeping it maintained and running safely is a top priority. With fewer trains running because of the country’s continued effort to stop the spread of coronavirus, we have been able to prioritise and bring forward this critical work on this economically important section of railway.
“This can only be done by our dedicated railway engineers, signallers, maintenance, control room and operations staff bravely working to keep people who do need to travel by rail, and critical freight goods, moving throughout the crisis. In carrying out this work they are making sure the railway is at its best when Britain emerges from this coronavirus pandemic.”
Trains will be diverted on different routes while the work is taking place meaning some journeys may take longer.
Passengers should continue following Government guidelines around the use of public transport, and only travel if they have to.
People making such journeys should visit www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.
Essential upgrade work is taking place on other sections of the West Coast main line on several weekends throughout May.