As we come up to the Easter Weekend and Bank Holidays in the United Kingdom, no doubt a lot of people are planning their journeys to where they need to be, whilst trying to avoid the high price of petrol and diesel.
Well, it seems the Rail Industry is proceeding with its usual “It’s Easter – no one travels during this period” attitude, with multiple closures on trunk routes, with the long weekend providing time for projects that take longer than usual to be carried out.
Before we go any further
This is written around one week before the Easter travel season kicks in. It is in your interest to head to National Rail Enquiries – Easter Travel Summary 2022 and bookmark it if you have travel planned.
Going to a London airport? Plan NOW
I could put it in larger text, but if you’re off to join the queues at the airports there are some big changes over the Easter holiday weekend. It goes without saying – allow extra time for your journey.
Both Heathrow Express and TfL Rail services will operate. However, the pain will be with the Underground, where the Piccadilly Line is set to be closed between Acton Town and all Heathrow terminals from Good Friday to Easter Monday.
A bus replacement service is planned – but at £10.80, pay and use TfL Rail – it’ll be less painful.
That’s closed for the weekend, as London Victoria station will be shut.
If you need to get to Gatwick, you will need to use Southern or Thameslink services between London Bridge and Gatwick Airport.
The Stansted Express will not be operating between Friday-Monday. You’ll need to catch a bus between Stansted Airport and Waltham Cross.
Be prepared to lug your luggage on a coach if you’re heading in that direction.
Other Major Airports that are rail-connected
Quickly checking around, the following are showing no major issues planned
- London Luton
- Birmingham Airport
- Newcastle Airport (Tyne and Wear Metro)
- Southampton Airport
- Manchester Airport
- Edinburgh (via Edinburgh Trams at the Gateway station)
As usual, check before you travel for short-notice changes.
Major changes out of the London Termini
Thinking of escaping London for the long Easter Weekend? Or coming into the big city to enjoy the sights? Good luck with that.
Here are some of the big changes over the Easter Weekend in the London and South East area, listed by mainline terminal station:
- Euston and north of Euston (impacting TfL Rail, Avanti West Coast, London Northwestern Railway) – There will be no services between Euston and Milton Keynes Central. Trains will start/terminate at Milton Keynes Central, with onward bus service
- Victoria Station – There will be no Southern operated services from Victoria Station over the weekend. This also impacts Gatwick Express.
- Waterloo and Clapham Junction – Many services that operate in and out of Waterloo by South Western Railway will not stop at Vauxhall or Earlsfield. In addition, services to Salisbury will stop at Basingstoke
- Marleybone – There will be no service on the Chiltern Aylesbury Line between Marylebone and Aylesbury Vale
- London Liverpool Street – Greater Anglia will have multiple changes, affecting services to:
- Hereford East
- Walton Cross – Stansted Airport
- Colchester to Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze (Late Night Only)
- Ipswich and Norwich (Late night and early morning)
- Fenchurch Street – c2c have various network changes through the weekend
Beyond London, there are changes too – here are some of the major changes that have been confirmed (I’ve covered Intercity routes in this round-up – there are plenty of regional changes too).
- Avanti West Coast
- Carlisle and Glasgow Central / Edinburgh – no services will operate
- Derby – Chesterfield – diversion, allow 1 hour extra
- Motherwell – Edinburgh – trains will not call at Motherwell.
- East Midlands Railway
- Derby – Chesterfield is closed. Services between Sheffield and London St Pancras International will be diverted and will not call at Derby.
- Engineering work is taking place between Matlock and Derby.
- Great Western Railway
- Moreton-in-Marsh and Worcester Shrub Hill will be closed.
- Dawlish Warren and Teignmouth will suffer some closures with late services and early services affected
- Buses replace late night trains between Swindon and Bath Spa.
- Hull Trains
- No Services between Doncaster and Hull
- No services between Doncaster and Hull
- Edinburgh and Glasgow Central have engineering works throughout.
- Transpennine Express
- Lancaster/Carlisle and Glasgow Central / Edinburgh
- Selby and Hull, buses will replace trains between these stations.
- There is also planned strike action on these dates too.
Again – this list is not definitive or exhaustive – and there are lots of local changes too.
It is in your interest to head to National Rail Enquiries – Easter Travel Summary 2022 and bookmark it if you have travel planned.
But why Easter?
Easter is almost a four day holiday, with Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday mostly observed in the United Kingdom. In the past, this meant fewer travellers would jump on a train – meaning this would be the perfect time to inconvenience the least number of people as major engineering works are carried out.
However, travel patterns have changed as people have worked from home, with leisure travel being a key driver.
In response, Andrew Haines, Network Rail chief executive, said:
“The majority of the railway will be open as usual this Easter for people to take a short break or visit loved ones, but some routes will be affected by our upgrade works, so we’re asking passengers to plan ahead and check their journeys in advance.
“We’ll be carrying out hundreds of vital projects that will improve passengers’ journeys in future – for example by improving reliability and boosting capacity on the network.”
And if you’re planning to take the train to watch Liverpool vs Manchester City FA Cup semi-final at Wembley…
Network Rail is advising football fans travelling from the North West to avoid getting to or from the game by train.
Just don’t. On Saturday 16 April, rail journeys will take longer, any trains running will be busier and travelling fans will need to use rail replacement buses to get from Merseyside and Manchester to Wembley.
Dave Penney, Network Rail passenger director for the North West and Central region, said:
“We have a strong track record of working closely with partner organisations like the FA to minimise disruption for passengers as far as possible, for example by giving prior notice of engineering projects which could impact on sports or large-scale events.
“Unfortunately, this year there is a clash between our £22m Easter railway upgrades and the FA Cup semi-finals, and regrettably these works can’t be deferred at this late stage as it would waste millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and cause further unnecessary disruption to passengers. We’re urging football fans in Liverpool and Manchester to avoid going to or from the match by train, and instead follow the FA’s travel advice on how to get to Wembley on Saturday 16 April.”
Is it a omnishambles?
A class-one omnishambles. Enough to force me back on the roads for Easter, with the joy of the M1 and M25.
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