London Euston Station – the gateway from London to Midlands, the North West, Wales and Scotland is closing for some upcoming weekends to allow work to be conducted in the Wembley area.
The magical weekends that the station is closed are:
- 18-19 August
- 25-27 August (England, Wales and Northern Ireland Late Summer Bank holiday weekend)
- 1-2 September
With work being conducted to replace North Wembley junction, no services will run into London Euston on services operated by London Northwestern Railway, Virgin Trains West Coast, or London Overground.
Different operators have different plans. And this is where it gets complex.
Virgin Train West Coast
Trains will terminate at Milton Keynes Central for onward coach connection to London Euston. To aid passenger flow, Off Peak restrictions have been lifted from all services from 09:30 on the Friday before engineering works.
London Northwestern Railway
London Northwestern Railway will operate different services, with most terminating at Hemel Hempstead(18/19th August, 25th/27th August) or Milton Keynes Central (1st/2nd September), with onwards bus connection to Stanmore, then London Underground connection onward to Euston/Euston Square.
No service will operate between Euston and Watford Junction. Replacement buses will run on portions of the route. Check https://tfl.gov.uk/tube-dlr-overground/status/?startDate=2018-08-18T00%3A00%3A00&endDate=2018-08-19T23%3A59%3A59&dateTypeSelect=This%20weekend#line-raillo-overground for the exact routes and where you might need to change.
In addition, the Bakerloo line (which uses part of the rail network) is also closed.
Whilst Network rail love to say “to avoid all but essential rail travel”, realistic, this isn’t going to stop people who want to go into London, or escape the city.
Chiltern Railways (who operate between London Marylebone and Birmingham) are warning trains will be busier than usual. Details at https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/news/improvement-works-august-september-may-affect-your-travel. Queing systems will be operated at Birmingham Moor Street, with possible expansion. Combined with sporting events at Wembley Stadium on 18th and 26th August, this has all the makings on unpleasantness.
East Midlands Trains (operating on the Midland Main Line between London St Pancras and Shefield) has plenty of issues of its own, not helped by the major upgrade works at Derby station. Virgin Trains users might choose to change at Rugby for a coach connection to Kettering
London North Eastern Railway
If you’re heading to Scotland, this probably the best way (other than flying or taking the coach). Check for changes to service at https://www.lner.co.uk/travel-information/travel-alerts/#CheckJourney
Network Rail’s Martin Frobisher states on the closure
“There is never an ideal time to shut the railway but these three weekends are the least disruptive times to do it.
“We have worked together for the past three years with train operators to carefully plan this closure of the railway in a way that minimises impact on customers.
“It’s vital the track at north Wembley is replaced to continue to safely meet the huge demand of passenger and freight rail services on the West Coast main line. This work will result in better, more reliable journeys in future.”
Let’s not dress this up: It’s going to be disruptive work, and if you’re not familiar with what to do or where to go, it’s going to be pretty awful.
Two words apply in this situation: Plan Ahead.
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