Milton Keynes to London rail line re-opens following first of three weekend closures

The train line from Milton Keynes Central to London Euston station re-opened today after the first stage of work to replace North Wembley junction was completed.

As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail engineers worked round-the-clock over the weekend (18-19 August), the first of three weekends’ work which will see North Wembley junction completely replaced.

The West Coast main line fully reopened this morning on time, as planned, with services running to a normal timetable.

The junction, on Europe’s busiest mixed use section of railway, is old and replacing it will mean passenger and freight users will benefit from better, more reliable journeys in future.

Passengers are being reminded that, to complete the replacement, the line and London Euston station will be closed to trains this bank holiday weekend (25-27 August) and on 1-2 September.

James Dean, chief operating officer for the London Northwestern route at Network Rail, said: "I would like to thank passengers for their understanding while we carry out his vital work. There is never an ideal time to shut the railway but these three summer weekends are the least disruptive times to do it as there are typically fewer passengers travelling.

“We have worked together for the past three years with train operators to carefully plan this closure of the railway in a way that minimises the impact on customers.

“It’s vital the track at North Wembley is replaced to continue to safely meet the huge demand of passenger and freight rail services on the West Coast main line.”

A section of track and ballast has been completely replaced with further work set to continue this weekend and next.

Train passengers are advised to plan their journeys in advance at www.nationalrail.co.uk/westcoast and using information on their train operators’ websites.

If customers cannot avoid travelling on these weekends, they’re advised to expect very different journeys to normal - busier trains and longer, diverted routes. 

Euston’s shops and access to London Underground will remain available throughout the next two weekends.