As the Easter holidays approach, Network Rail is preparing for one of the most significant rail shutdowns in the UK, which is set to cause extensive disruptions to travel plans. The planned schemes are expected to cost Network Rail tens of millions of pounds, and up to 20,000 engineers will be called in to assist.
The West Coast Main Line, the busiest line in the UK, will be completely shut between London Euston and Milton Keynes from Good Friday to Easter Monday. This closure will result in significant delays, with the usual 32-minute journey taking over an hour and a half via a replacement bus service and alternative train route. Trains from Liverpool will terminate at Rugby, and other works on the line will also cause severe disruptions between Carlisle and Glasgow, and Stafford and Crewe.
In addition to these closures, the Gatwick Express will be cancelled for four days, and London Victoria will be shut to most trains.
No Southeastern services will go from London Charing Cross on April 8 and 9, and some lines from London Liverpool Street will also close.
The new Elizabeth line will not run through Central London, and buses will replace trains between Reading and Newbury and Woking and Winchester. Some services from Leeds will be axed, and all lines will be closed between Peterborough and Norwich, and Cambridge and Ely.
Overcrowding is also likely on other routes, particularly on Chiltern Railways, whose rural services are expected to be overwhelmed by passengers who are unable to travel between London and Birmingham on the West Coast Main Line.
With so many closures and disruptions, it's crucial to stay informed about the latest updates before embarking on your journey. Our journey planner will be regularly updated with details about cancellations, delays, and replacement services, so it's essential to check your journey before setting out.
We recommend that you check for travel disruptions on the app and website before travelling. It is recommended that you set up journey alerts where possible to receive notifications about any changes or updates that may affect your journey.
By planning ahead and staying informed, you can help ensure a smoother and more enjoyable journey during the Easter period.