Major investment to upgrade the railway between London and Luton will reach a key milestone this November, meaning changes to train services along the Midland main line (MML).
A trio of flagship projects – the development of the new Brent Cross West station, a new footbridge at St Albans City station, and upgraded overhead power lines south of Bedford – will all work together to offer a better service for passengers.
Due to the vast scale and complexity of the upgrades, Network Rail said some work can only be done while there are no trains running. This means that no passenger trains will run between St Pancras and Luton on 5/6/12/13 November and there will be a very limited Luton service on 10 and 11 December.
Network Rail said that details will be available in journey planners closer to these dates.
To maximise the benefit of this disruption, Network Rail will also be carrying out significant track renewals and other maintenance during the affected weekends to boost reliability.
Gary Walsh, east midlands route director for Network Rail, said: “We’re making great progress on three important projects, which will ultimately bring better journeys for passengers travelling on the southern end of the MML.
“I know that many people will be travelling on Sunday 13 November to pay their respects on Remembrance Sunday, and I’m very sorry if our work interrupts your plans. Some of this work was rescheduled to allow people to travel to London for Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral in September.
“We have worked closely with our train operating colleagues to carefully replan this major work, but it will still impact passengers’ journeys. Our best advice is to plan ahead, check before you travel and allow extra time.”
Neil Grabham, East Midlands Railway customer services director said: “We are asking any customers planning to travel to or from London over these three weekends to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to complete their journeys.
“We have a reduced train service operating on both our Intercity route and our Connect route, rail replacement buses will be in place between Luton and Hitchin in both directions. Full details can be found on the EMR website.
“We would like to thank our passengers for their patience whilst the engineering work along the Midland Main Line is taking place.”
Jenny Saunders, customer services director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “Network Rail’s large-scale improvement projects will bring a range of benefits for our customers and we’ve worked closely together to minimise the inevitable inconvenience over these three weekends. Replacement buses will be operating to help people complete their journeys, so please plan ahead and allow plenty of extra time.”