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6 February 2015, 08:10
Network Rail says it has cancelled the rest of this month's track work closures on the Euston line.
The work to improve the main line from Euston over the weekend of 14/15 and 21/22 February would have seen passengers redirected onto services using the Chiltern route between Birmingham, Banbury and London Marylebone.
The Chiltern route is currently blocked owing to a huge 350,000 tonne landslide that happened on Saturday (31 January) and will remain closed for several weeks. As a result the West Coast main line improvement work at Watford is being rescheduled so that a direct passenger route can be provided between the West Midlands and London.
Mark Carne, chief executive, said: "Passengers must come first and with the alternative route from Birmingham to London now blocked we have made the right decision to ensure journeys can still be made."
Phil Bearpark, Executive Director for Operations and Projects said "Network Rail's decision is in the best interests of passengers who would have been left with no alternative services to and from London when work on the West Coast Main Line at Watford took place.
"We are working very hard with Network Rail and other train operators to put in place a timetable that makes best use of the space now available. This will mean that passengers are able to travel to and from London on direct services rather than taking diversionary services, which is really good news. But we are reacting to fast-moving events and I would ask that customers bear with us over the next few days as we clarify details of which trains will be available."
Patrick Verwer, London Midland's managing director, said: "Postponing the work at Watford is the right thing to do. Having two main lines from London to the midlands blocked could have caused severe disruption across the whole of the rail network as passengers and freight trains would have very few travel options available."
Train operators on the route are currently looking at what services, at this short notice, can be reinstated. Special timetables for these weekends will be published by individual operators over the coming days and will be available via the national rail website - www.nationalrail.co.uk