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London Northwestern Railway passengers advised to check journeys ahead of West Coast Main Line engineering work in London

Press release -

London Northwestern Railway passengers advised to check journeys ahead of West Coast Main Line engineering work in London

Train journeys are being made more reliable on the West Coast Main Line thanks to major work to upgrade drainage, track and signalling equipment in North London.

Thirty-four individual projects will take place along a seven-mile stretch of railway between Saturday 20 and Wednesday 31 March. This amount of work would normally take three years of consecutive overnight weekend shifts to complete and cost around £19.8million.

While fewer passengers are travelling due to the latest coronavirus lockdown, Network Rail has teamed up with train operators to close two out of the four railway lines. This will allow for these multiple upgrades to be done all at once rather than one at a time.

The super-fast approach over 11 days will bring costs down to £6m - saving the taxpayer £13.8m - and will improve future journeys on one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use passenger and freight railway lines.

The upgrades include:

  • Drainage improvements in the Victorian-built Kensal Green Tunnel to prevent delays from flooding during bad weather
  • Major track renewals between Primrose Hill and Willesden Junction
  • Installation of new signalling equipment
  • Removal of graffiti and scrap metal from beside the railway

The work means journeys will take longer than usual while two out of the four railway lines are out of use. London Northwestern Railway will run an amended timetable with fewer services stopping at Bushey and Harrow & Wealdstone.

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said:

“We know how highly our customers value a reliable service and these important track improvements will make a real difference and reduce the likelihood of disruption in the future. Our trains will run to an amended timetable during the work, with fewer trains calling at Bushey and Harrow & Wealdstone.

"I advise passengers making essential journeys during this period to check their travel plans in advance and leave extra time if necessary.”

James Dean, Network Rail West Coast Main Line South route director, said:

“This rare opportunity to do all of this work in one go shows how the rail industry is coming together to get the West Coast main line in the best possible shape for passengers when they can return as part of our commitment to build back better.

“For those who are still travelling by rail for reasons permitted by government, I’d urge people to check National Rail Enquiries before they set off on their journey so they know what to expect.”

Passengers making essential journeys between 20-31 March are urged to check before travelling at or with their train operator.




About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

For more information on these services visit or

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