31st July 2020
Passengers travelling between Crewe and Chester are being advised to check before they travel this August during the next phase of a multi-million-pound railway bridge renewal.
Network Rail is investing £5.7m as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan to completely replace ‘Boulderstones bridge’ in Crewe.
The original bridge carrying the A530 Middlewich Road over the railway was removed in June.
Now the railway must be closed for nine days between Saturday 15 and Monday 24 August while the new bridge is built.
The closure will mean changes to journeys, with diversions and rail replacement buses in operation.
So people know what to expect in advance, Network Rail is urging passengers to plan ahead by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Oluwole Osunneye, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “This essential Railway Upgrade Plan work will bring the crossing over the railway up to modern standards making it safe and reliable for both traffic above and rail passengers below.
“This next important phase involves building the new bridge and can only be done safely by entirely closing the railway. I’d urge anyone planning to travel between Chester and Crewe between 15-24 August to plan their journey now at National Rail Enquiries.
“We are very grateful for the patience of rail passengers and road users in Crewe while we completely renew this bridge – reducing traffic and train delays in the years to come”
Gus Dunster, executive director of operations at Avanti West Coast, said: “As Network Rail carry out vital works between Crewe and Chester, there will be alterations to our services to and from Chester and Holyhead between 15 – 23 August. During this time some journeys may take longer or involve a rail replacement service.
"We strongly recommend you make a reservation, plan your journey in advance and check the National Rail Enquiries and Avanti West Coast websites before travelling.”
Diversions and rail replacement buses will be in place during the nine-day railway closure, including:
- Avanti West Coast services to and from Holyhead being diverted between Chester and Crewe, extending journey times
- Fewer services than normal running between Chester and Crewe. Rail replacement services will also operate in both directions between Crewe and Chester
James Price, CEO Transport for Wales, said: “We’re pleased that our colleagues in Network Rail are making network infrastructure improvements.
“Please could all our customers ensure that they check online for any changes in services and timetable adjustments. We’ll be providing rail replacement buses and we’re sorry for any inconvenience that this may cause.”
This major bridge replacement follows the successful £11m bridge refurbishment scheme of another railway bridge in Crewe at Sydney Road in September last year.
Meanwhile, passengers are asked to continue following Government guidance around the use of public transport.
Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £100.
However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.
Image: Network Rail