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Network rail start work in Watford

 Published on: 5th May 2014   |   By: The Newsdesk   |   Category:

Work to upgrade the railway around Watford began over the bank holiday weekend. As part of an £81m project, Network Rail closed the West Coast main line between London Euston and Watford between May 3 and May 5 and passengers had to use alternative routes to travel in and out of London. The section of track at Watford is one of the most intensively used, high-speed sections in the UK and huge growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years. The number of trains using the line has doubled over the last 15 years. Rail bosses have stressed that the work is essential to maintain reliable train services for the millions of passengers who travel on the route every year. The May Day weekend closure is the first of eight weekend and bank holiday closures between May 2014 and April 2015 when significant upgrade work will be carried out to improve reliability and punctuality along this section of the West Coast main line. Although alternative arrangements were in place, passengers are being warned to expect significantly longer journey times.  Passengers are advised to only travel to London on the West Coast Main Line if travel was essential. Barrie Cottam, London Midland’s head of West Coast services, said he had advice for passengers ahead of further planned closure dates.   He said: “My advice would be use an alternative train route where possible. Everyone who needs to make a journey along the affected route should plan ahead and check again before travelling. We have done all we can to minimise the inconvenience but having no through train services will mean longer journeys while the work takes place.” The next planned closure is from August 9 to August 11. Network Rail had originally planned to close the line for two weeks in August and nine days next February. After local concern however, the strategy was changed to weekend and bank holiday closures. During the work, all signalling between Kings Langley and Bushey will be renewed and more than 15km of new track will be laid. Modifications will be made to the overhead line equipment and Orphanage Road Bridge will be replaced to allow for future line speeds of 125mph.

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