Engineering work to cause timetable changes to Peterborough trains over Easter

Peterborough railway station. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph

Peterborough railway station. Photo: Peterborough Telegraph

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Engineering work will shut one line of the East Coast railway through Peterborough over Easter bank holiday weekend.

One of the two lines south of Peterborough will be closed - meaning changes to services on Easter Saturday and Sunday.

The Transport Secretary has suggested that railway lines could be shut down throughout the year to enable the network to be upgraded faster.

Patrick McLoughlin called for “quicker, ambitious plans for major reconstruction”, rather than limiting engineering work to times when there are fewer passengers.

Network Rail (NR), which manages Britain’s rail tracks and many key stations, closed a number of major lines over Christmas to allow it to carry out work as part of its major investment plan.

But in the annual George Bradshaw address last week, Mr McLoughlin praised the rebuilding of rail infrastructure in Nottingham in the summer of 2013 during which the city’s railway station was largely closed for five weeks.

He said: “Why do we insist on doing engineering works often in winter, at night, over a very long period, rather than putting in place quicker, ambitious plans for major reconstruction with proper alternatives and information for passengers, like the successful project at Nottingham station in 2013?

“Now, it is not for a Government minister to spell out in detail what might be done differently. The industry has to look after its customers.

“The point is that the industry needs more confidence and more freedom to respond.”

A number of lines are being suspended over the four-day Easter period as NR carries out more than 450 separate improvement projects.

NR chief executive Mark Carne said: “This Easter our 15,000-strong army of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver our railway upgrade plan, providing better, more reliable journeys for passengers and businesses across Britain.

“I’m acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway during the Easter holidays, but with fewer people travelling by train over this four-day weekend, it is a good time to undertake these massive improvement projects.

“The vast majority of services will be unaffected by this programme with over 95% of the network open as normal.”