Xmas rail travellers advised to avoid West Coast line

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Passengers are being advised to avoid the West Coast main line and check before they travel over Christmas as Network Rail continues its programme of investment and improvements.

The route will be closed between London Euston and Hemel Hempstead after the last trains on Christmas Eve until Monday, December.29th. It will also be closed between Stafford and Crewe after the last trains on Christmas Eve until Sunday, December 28th.

The closure between London Euston and Hemel Hempstead is necessary to bring new signalling into use which will help provide a more resilient and reliable service, building on the track renewals and overhead line improvements which have already taken place.

The closure between Stafford and Crewe is part of a £250m investment to provide faster services and capacity for more trains, including building a new section of railway over the existing main line which will remove the last remaining bottleneck on the West Coast main line.

To minimise disruption, Network Rail, Virgin Trains and London Midland are advising passengers to avoid the West Coast main line unless absolutely necessary and use alternative routes.

Journeys made on the West Coast main line in and out of London and between the West Midlands and North West of England will be longer and are likely to involve a bus replacement service.

Other routes around the country are likely to be busier as a result.

The closures will affect passengers from across parts of the north west, Scotland, north Wales, the West Midlands and those travelling between Rugby, Northampton and Milton Keynes into London.

Full details and alternative routes are available on the National Rail Inquires website at www.nationalrail.co.uk/christmas.