Passengers have been warned they could face delays and bus replacement services on Lancashire’s rail link to London during the key summer holiday getaway.
Network Rail issued the alert as a major junction on the West Coast Main Line will close for 16 days.
Between July 20 and August 4 work will take place upgrading track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling on the Acton Grange junction, which is used by more than 260 trains every day.
While the £27m Great North Rail Project scheme takes place, many train services will be diverted via alternative routes.
The plan may mean passengers have to change on to different trains or buses for sections of their journeys.
David Golding, 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.”
Robert Nisbet, regional director for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the railway, said: “This vital engineering work is part of the rail industry’s plan to improve punctuality and make journeys better while keeping disruption to a minimum as much as we can.
“We encourage people who are planning to take the train during these weeks to check before they travel by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk or speaking to their train operator.”
For more information on the work and impact visit www.networkrail.co.uk/WCMLActonGrange