TrainStrain - The Sequel

908957_trains_a_comin.jpg

Football fans have been warned that large sections of the nation’s railway network will be subject to severe disruptions during the next THREE weeks.

And, unless you find ending up stuck in the middle of nowhere for hours adds a certain something to your match day experience, the nice people at Virgin Trains say all you intrepid rail travellers will have to plan ahead.

Because simply turning up and taking a chance might mean you end up wishing you’d stayed in bed instead.

An intensive programme of “route improvement” work at various locations over two weeks from Saturday, August 23 through to Sunday, September 7 will mean extensive alterations to Virgin Trains services, including WEEKDAY schedules.

And Virgin Trains request customers to re-confirm journey times on its website Virgintrains.com/changeforgood 24 hours before they are due to travel, particularly for journeys between September 1 and September 7.

It’s all explained below – in painstaking detail – in the form of a Virgin Trains press release we received, which was, by some distance, the longest of its kind we’ve ever had from anybody about anything.

Digesting this wealth of information may not prove exactly thrilling, but, if you’re planning to use any Virgin Trains service over the next three weeks, it’s more than worth your while ploughing through it…

Summary of alterations and alternative routes

The work that Network Rail is carrying out during this period includes platform and subway construction at Rugby, platform extension and re-signalling work at Milton Keynes, and commissioning of new signalling on the Trent Valley Line.

Saturday, August 23, Sunday, August 24, Bank Holiday Monday, August 25, Saturday, August 30, and Sunday, August 31.

Virgin Trains services to/from the North will start / terminate at Birmingham International or Coventry. An hourly West Coast Replacement Shuttle service will run between London Euston, Coventry and Birmingham International, using an alternative route via Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire.

Because of the station enlargement work taking place at Milton Keynes it will NOT be possible to run any shuttle services between London Euston and Northampton with connecting coaches to Birmingham International.

Passengers holding Savers, Open and Season tickets will however be able to use other companies’ train services as follows:

• From Scotland to London Kings Cross using National Express East Coast

• From North West England to London St Pancras using East Midlands Trains (There is some engineering work on this route on Sunday, August 24)

• From the Midlands to London Marylebone using Chiltern Railways

• From the Midlands to London Paddington (via Reading) using CrossCountry and First Great Western.

Replacement coaches will run as follows in both directions:

• Watford Junction to High Wycombe for connections to West Midlands using Chiltern Railways

• Milton Keynes to Birmingham International for connections to North West and Scotland using Virgin Trains

• Rugby to Banbury for connections to London Marylebone using Chiltern Railways

Work will be taking place between Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield and trains will be unable to run between those two stations. Services to and from Manchester Piccadilly will be diverted via and call, additionally, at Crewe and Wilmslow. Various replacement coach services in the Stoke-on-Trent/Macclesfield area will allow passengers to undertake all journeys.

Tuesday, August 26

Virgin Trains services to/from the North will start/terminate at Birmingham International or Coventry. A regular West Coast Replacement Shuttle service will run between London Euston and Birmingham International. There will also be frequent replacement coaches running between Birmingham International and Northampton connecting into a Pendolino shuttle service to and from Euston.

In addition, work will be taking place between Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield - trains will be unable to run between these two stations. Services to and from Manchester Piccadilly will be diverted via, and call additionally at, Crewe and Wilmslow. Various replacement coach services in the Stoke-on-Trent/Macclesfield area will allow passengers to undertake all journeys.

Wednesday, August 27, Thursday, August 28 and Friday, August 29.

The West Coast Main Line will be closed between Rugby and Stafford and all services will be diverted via an alternative route through the West Midlands. This will mean some reductions in services and longer journey times. To help customers connect to Virgin Trains services to and from Euston rail replacement coaches will run between Lichfield/Tamworth and Birmingham International and also between Nuneaton and Coventry.

In addition, work will be taking place between Stoke-on-Trent and Macclesfield and trains will be unable to run between those two stations. Services to and from Manchester Piccadilly will be diverted via and call additionally at Crewe and Wilmslow. Various replacement coach services in the Stoke-on-Trent/Macclesfield area will allow passengers to undertake all journeys.

Monday, September 1 to Friday, September 5 and Sunday, September 7.

The West Coast Main Line will be closed between Rugby and Stafford and all services will be diverted via an alternative route through the West Midlands. This will mean some reductions in services and longer journey times. On weekdays, to help customers connect to Virgin Trains services to and from Euston, rail replacement coaches will run between Lichfield/Tamworth and Birmingham International and also between Nuneaton and Coventry. On Sunday, September 7 passengers travelling to and from Lichfield, Tamworth and Nuneaton will need to travel via Birmingham New Street.

Saturday, September 6.

Virgin Trains services to/from the North will start/terminate at Birmingham International or Coventry.

An hourly West Coast Replacement Shuttle service will run between London Euston and Birmingham International. These services use an alternative route through Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire. There will also be frequent replacement coaches running between Birmingham International and Northampton connecting into a Pendolino shuttle service to and from Euston.