Look before you book’ August bank holiday travel advice




  • Railway improvements between London, the West Midlands, and North West are taking place between 28-30 August

  • Future passenger and freight journeys will benefit from a £17m investment

  • Passengers are advised to ‘look before they book’, travel at quieter times and out of respect for others, wear a face covering in busy indoor settings

Network Rail is advising passengers planning rail travel over the upcoming bank holiday weekend to ‘look before they book’ ahead of major railway upgrades taking place between 28-30 August.

The work will improve future rail journeys for passengers and freight on the West Coast main line in Cheshire, and some routes in the West Midlands and North West.

While much of the network in Network Rail's North West and Central region will be unaffected, some journeys will be impacted by the essential improvements.

The work includes:

  • Railway track replacement, bridge improvements and upgrading of lineside equipment in Water Orton, Nuneaton and Birmingham as part of HS2 work. This will impact services in the Birmingham, Nuneaton and Coleshill Parkway areas

  • Work at London Euston to build HS2 – Britain’s new high-speed railway. An amended timetable will be in place to/from London Euston all weekend, with platforms 12-16 out of use

  • Railway track replacement between Congleton and Cheadle in Cheshire

  • Railway bridge strengthening between Birchwood and Hunts Cross in Cheshire

  • Signalling – the traffic lights of the railway – being upgraded in Bicester in Oxfordshire and at Trafford Park in Manchester.

Passengers travelling on routes affected over the August bank holiday weekend will have longer journeys, fewer available seats, and may need to use rail replacement buses*.

Rail travellers are advised to plan ahead at www.nationalrail.co.uk. so they know exactly what to expect from their journey.

Jake Kelly, passenger director for Network Rail’s North West & Central region, said: “The essential improvements taking place over the August bank holiday will improve future journeys for passengers so they can use the railway to get to work and increasingly for leisure to visit friends and family or take a holiday. While much of the network will be open as usual, some journeys in the North West and Central region will be different with train diversions, slightly longer journey times or bus replacements between certain locations. I’d urge people planning on travelling over the August bank holiday to ‘look before you book’ using National Rail Enquiries so you know exactly what to expect from your journey.”

With domestic tourism in high demand this summer across the country, Network Rail’s bank holiday engineering work has been planned to minimise disruption to passengers with very few lines, stations and destinations impacted by the national £90m investment programme.

Passengers are advised to follow government guidance and wear a face covering in busy indoor settings unless they are exempt. With good ventilation systems on trains, extra cleaning and improved information about quieter times, passengers can continue to travel with confidence.

People can find out how their journeys will be affected by visiting www.networkrail.co.uk/wcml, via train operators, National Rail Enquiries, or following #AugustBHWorks on Twitter.

To keep people on the move between 28-30 August, some services will be replaced by buses in parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, and in and around the West Midlands. Services on the West Coast main line will also be affected between Manchester and London. A small number of bus replacements are also planned on the weekends of the 14 & 15 and 21 & 22 August as part of HS2 work.

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