23 Jul 2019
Chester race goers reminded to check before they travel ahead of railway closure
Railway passengers travelling to Chester Racecourse from Leeds and Manchester over the next two weekends are being urged to plan ahead, as a major overhaul of a railway junction on the West Coast main line takes place.
Between 20 July and 4 August, Network Rail will be upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling on the busy Acton Grange junction, which is used by more than 260 trains every day.
While the £27 million Great North Rail Project scheme takes place, many train services will be diverted via alternative routes.
Train operators and Network Rail have agreed a plan to keep passengers moving throughout the work.
The plan may mean passengers have to change onto different trains or buses for sections of their journeys.
Passengers are being urged to check www.nationalrail.co.uk before travelling so they know exactly what to expect. They are also advised to allow more time for their journeys as services are likely to be busier than usual.
Colin Lea, Customer Experience Director for TfW Rail Services said: “We know a lot of racing fans travel into Chester by train for race days so it’s really important that they check their journey details before travelling.
“Network Rail’s essential work at Acton Grange will impact on our services between Chester and Manchester during the race meetings of 27th July and 4th August, so customers need to be aware of how this may affect their travel. We are working closely with Network Rail and other train operators to keep disruption to a minimum and more details can be found on our website www.tfwrail.wales or at National Rail Enquiries.”
Chris Jackson, Regional Director for Northern, said: “We are working with colleagues across the rail industry to keep disruption to a minimum, but all customers should be aware that we will be running fewer trains to Chester than normal. Those we do run – along the Mid Cheshire Line – will be busier than normal and we advise all customers to allow extra time for travel.”
David Golding, Network Rail's acting route managing director, said: “The West Coast main line is Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway. It is the economic backbone of Britain.
“With more than 260 trains using this junction every day, it is vital to keep it in good condition. We need to replace it and upgrade it to ensure a reliable railway for passengers for many years to come.
“To deliver work of this scale and magnitude, we must close the junction for 16 days this summer. The alternative would be many weekends of disruption to passengers and much higher cost.
“We have worked closely with our train and freight operator colleagues to minimise the disruption and to keep as many trains moving as possible. I would urge passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.”
Acton Grange is a key section of the West Coast main line between Crewe and Preston.
The vital upgrade this summer will bring the outdated track and equipment up to modern standards and further improve the reliability of the economically important West Coast main line.
For more information on the work and impact visit www.networkrail.co.uk/WCMLActonGrange