Easter trains set for major disruption as Wolverhampton to Birmingham line closes
Rail users are being warned of major disruption as the line between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street closes for six days over Easter.
From Good Friday until March 30 the line connecting the two cities will be closed due to work being undertaken by Network Rail on a key junction near Smethwick.
Four days of works are also taking place in Stafford to remove the last remaining bottleneck that causes delays on the West Coast Main Line.
Whilst the improvements are going on, London Midland trains will be significantly reduced and replacement bus services will be in use.
Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: "The work is 'essential' and will provide passengers with a better railway.
"We are advising passengers to check before they travel over the Easter Bank Holiday and in some locations after that, as we make a big investment to provide passengers with a better railway.
"At Stafford, our orange army will be working day and night to link the new flyover – which will carry trains between Birmingham and Manchester over the West Coast main line at Norton Bridge – to the rail network.
"This will remove one of the last major bottlenecks on the route and to help deliver the capacity to run more freight and passenger services.
"The upgrade between Birmingham and Wolverhampton is essential to maintain a reliable infrastructure and involves a significant amount of work. It has been carefully planned to be completed as safely and quickly as possible.
"I appreciate there will be some disruption as a result of this work and I'd like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this investment to provide a better railway."
The work is part of Network Rail's £40 billion Railway Upgrade Plan, and this Easter investment programme is its biggest ever.
On Good Friday, and the three days after that, London Midland will operate one train every two hours between Stafford and Wolverhampton and a half-hourly replacement bus service for local stations between Birmingham New Street and Wolverhampton.
Reduced, direct train services will be provided by other operators such as Virgin Trains and CrossCountry.
On March 29 and 30, London Midland will provide an hourly train service from Birmingham New Street to Liverpool Lime Street, operating non-stop between New Street and Wolverhampton. For local stations between New Street and Wolverhampton, such as Tipton, half-hourly buses will be running.
Steven Fisher, head of regional services at London Midland, said: "These projects will make train travel simpler and provides much needed capacity.
"They will make it easier for trains from London, the midlands and the north west to pass through the area meaning passengers can expect more reliable journeys."
For full information visit www.londonmidland.com
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