Rail disruption between Rugby and London

Trains will terminate at Hemel Hempstead on affected days
Trains will terminate at Hemel Hempstead on affected days

Passengers travelling to London from Rugby face disruption over weekends next month.

As part of an £81 million project to improve reliability and punctuality on the West Coast Mainline, Network Rail will be carrying out significant upgrade work on the following dates:

* Saturday August 9 until Monday August 11

* Saturday August 16 until Monday August 18

* Saturday August 23 until Tuesday August 26

This means London Midland train services will terminate at Hemel Hempstead, except on Sunday August 24 when services will terminate at Milton Keynes.

For passengers wishing to travel to stations between Hemel Hempstead and London, replacement coach services will be in operation.

Rebecca Freeman, London Midland’s project manager for the Watford Area Renewals Programme, said: “We know that the closures will affect many people’s travel plans and we’d like to thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation.

“During the closures, journey times will be extended and will involve various changes. I urge passengers who need to travel to check in advance and plan their journey.”

London Midland is also advising passengers to consider making alternative work or travel arrangements on Monday August 11 and Monday August 18, as there will be a reduced train service into London on these days.

Rebecca added: “Those two days provide an opportunity to take advantage of flexible working or annual leave, especially as it’s the school holidays. We wanted to let our customers know about the reduced service now, so that they have plenty of time to make arrangements.”

When the improvement works are complete in April 2015, passengers will benefit from a more reliable train service as a result of the upgraded infrastructure.

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail, said: “This scheme represents significant investment in the southern end of the West Coast Main Line to improve punctuality and make the railway more reliable.

“This line has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years with the section at Watford being one of the most intensively used, high-speed sections of track in the UK. This work is absolutely essential to maintain reliable train services for the thousands of passengers who travel on this route every day.”

Online journey planning information has been amended to reflect the changes that will be in place. Visit www.londonmidland.com/Watford for more information on alternative travel arrangements. For further details about the improvement works programme visit www.nationalrail.co.uk/Watford.