Improvement work will see the Chiltern main line between Dorridge and Birmingham Moor Street closed for four days during June. The essential work will be carried out from Monday the 20th to Thursday the 23rd of June and once complete, will bring improvements to passenger journeys in time for the Commonwealth Games.
The £3m Network Rail project will see the overhaul of switches and crossings which are crucial parts of the railway and allow sections of track to access and leave a vital train maintenance depot
Located at Tyseley in Birmingham, the maintenance depot is an essential site for three rail operators – West Midlands Railway, CrossCountry and Chiltern Railways. Any issues that happen at the depot during the Commonwealth Games may cause delays throughout the region such as the risk of overcrowding at key stations which are supporting sporting venues.
The replacement of the intricate equipment ahead of the event will mean that train services can run smoothly throughout the Games which are anticipated to see in excess of one million extra passenger journeys across the West Midlands network.
The essential upgrade work will affect the following routes and services between Monday the 20th and Thursday the 23rd of June:
- The Shakespeare line to Stratford-upon-Avon will see no trains operating between Birmingham Moor Street and Spring Road stations
- The Chiltern main line between London Marylebone and Birmingham will see no trains operating between Birmingham Moor Street and Dorridge
The closure has been extended to include Dorridge from Solihull which will provide more movement for trains running on the rest of the Chiltern main line.
Rail replacement buses will be running and customers are advised to plan their travel ahead using: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk
Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said:
“There’s never an ideal time to shut the railway and a mid-week closure for work like this is rare, but after carefully reviewing recent passenger numbers on this route we’ve found it’s the least disruptive time to make these essential improvements.
“These upgrades will benefit journeys across the wider West Midlands, providing passengers with an efficient, cleaner and more reliable railway throughout our major summer of sport. It will also help to reduce the risk of platforms becoming overcrowded as a result of the predicted one million extra passenger journeys during the Commonwealth Games.”
Eleni Jordan, commercial & customer strategy director for Chiltern Railways, said:
“Network Rail’s crucial track replacement work between Monday 20 and Thursday 23 June will ensure that we can continue to provide a safe and reliable service for our customers across what is expected to be a busy summer on the railways in the West Midlands.
“We will be regularly communicating plans for rail replacement transport in and out of Birmingham. We advise that customers travelling during the closure check their journey on the Chiltern website or app before travelling.”
Jonny Wiseman, West Midlands Trains customer experience director, said:
“These essential works will make a real, long-term difference to passengers by improving access to Tyseley depot where trains are maintained, repaired and refuelled.
“I would like to thank our customers for their patience while this work is carried out and I urge passengers travelling during this period to plan their journeys carefully as revised timetables and rail replacement buses will be in operation.”
During the four-day rail closure, engineers and planners will carry out as much other work as possible including:
- Installation of new rails, sleepers and ballast (railway foundation stone)
- Stressing rails which cope better with hot weather
- Removal of overgrown vegetation and graffiti
- Deep cleaning of Birmingham Moor Street station
Carrying out this extra work also reduces the risk of future disruption for passengers and makes the rail network more reliable throughout the games and for many years to come.
Millions of pounds of taxpayer’s money will also be saved by completing the work outside of a full railway closure which usually would take place over several weekends during summer.