Passengers urged to check before they travel ahead of bumper changes to services this May.(Network Rail)

Passengers urged to check before they travel ahead of bumper changes to services this May

  • 20 May sees new national timetable introduced with thousands of new services and new timetables and schedules 
  • 26 – 28 May (bank holiday ) sees £78m of investment projects being delivered around the country to improve services 
  • Vast majority (95%+)of the network is unaffected by engineering work but passengers are advised to check before they travel 

Over the next few weeks there will be some substantial change to rail services and timetables as a swathe of investment in new trains and new infrastructure comes to fruition.

On Sunday (20 May) hundreds of thousands of passengers across the country are set to benefit from the introduction of thousands of new services as the railway’s new summer timetable comes into force. Thousands of new schedules and timetables come on stream to accommodate the investment in new trains and infrastructure with passengers advised to check times ahead of travel as many routines will change, especially for commuters.

Paul Plummer, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents the rail industry, said:

“As part of an investment programme set to generate £85bn in economic benefit across the country, the rail industry is working in partnership to deliver the biggest timetable change in a generation, delivering extra space for tens of thousands of passengers. Retiming over 100,000 services across a weekend is a huge operational challenge, and as a result there may be some teething problems. We therefore advise customers to check their train times before they travel on the National Rail Enquiries Website, or download the National Rail “Alert Me” app for updates.” 

It’s also just one week to go until the late May bank holiday getaway with Network Rail investing over £78m over the weekend to provide faster, better services and help relieve over-crowding to respond to the huge growth on Britain’s railways. Again passengers should check before they travel, although the vast majority of the network –  over 95% – is unaffected by work.

A 19,600-strong workforce will work round the clock to deliver 400 projects over the bank holiday weekend as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

Mark Carne, chief executive at Network Rail, said:

“Thousands of rail workers will be working round the clock this May bank holiday weekend to deliver a bigger and better railway as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“While most of the network is open for business as usual, some routes are heavily affected and so we strongly advise passengers to plan ahead this May.”

A breakdown of how some journeys will be affected can be found by visiting and following #MayBHWorks on Twitter.


Impacts on services as a result of the late May bank holiday – Saturday 26 until Monday 28 May


In and around London:

  • Saturday 26 – Monday 28 May: There will be overhead line renewals at Ilford. A rail replacement bus service will be in place between Ingatestone/Billericay and Newbury Park for the Central line and between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street (TfL Rail).
  • Maintenance work will be taking place between London Charing Cross and London Bridge and there will be no Southeastern services running to/from London Charing Cross. Services will run to/from London Cannon Street or London Bridge on 27 May
  • Sevenoaks Tunnel will see track renewals taking place with buses running between Orpington and Sevenoaks between 26 – 28 May


  • Track renewal work will be taking place between Tebay and Carlisle. There will be an hourly service between London Euston and Oxenholme Lake District and also between Carlisle and Glasgow Central. Buses will run between Oxenholme and Carlisle on 26 May. On 27 MayLondon Euston and Glasgow/Edinburgh services will run between London Euston and Crewe only. Buses will run between Crewe and Glasgow Central/Edinburgh
  • Re-signalling will be taking place at Birmingham New Streetbetween 26 – 27 May. London Euston to Birmingham New Street services will service between Coventry and London Euston with buses in place between Birmingham New Street and Coventry
  • Significant work in the south of Scotland between Glasgow and Edinburgh will see East Coast Main Line services terminate/start at Edinburgh
  • Greater West Electrification works will be taking place between Didcot and Chippenham/Bristol Parkway which will disrupt travel.

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