Train passengers in the West Midlands face delays getting home over Christmas due to major engineering works, which were announced today.
It means there will be no direct trains from London Euston to Wolverhampton, Stafford, Sandwell and Dudley or Birmingham on December 23 and 24.
Network Rail is spending £125 million on signalling work at Bletchley near Milton Keynes.
Over Christmas the company will be bringing the new system into operation, closing the old signal box and moving control to Rugby.
The work will result in disruptions to services to the region. Hourly services will run from Euston via an alternative route, the Chiltern line, to Nuneaton where passengers will have to change for services heading to their destinations.
Direct services resume on December 27 but with two of the four lines closed up to and including New Year’s Eve.
It will mean fewer, but direct, services to the usual destinations. On New Year’s Eve the line between Lichfield and Stafford will be closed all day while engineers continue tunnel renovation work while on New Year’s Day the route between Rugby and Stafford via Nuneaton will be shut.
The work at Bletchley is intended to make journeys faster in the long run and allow trains to hit 125mph.