Easter train travel: Network Rail will undertake 'record number of engineering works' over holiday weekend

The vast majority of services will be unaffected by this programme with over 95% of the network open as normal.

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The Independent Online

Network Rail is planning a "record number of engineering works" on railway lines across the UK over the Easter weekend.

More than 15,000 Network Rail employees are going to be involved in improvement projects costing £40 million from 25-28 March.

While the agency says 95 per cent of all train services will be operate as normal - critics have attacked the timing of the 450 separate improvement projects over the holiday weekend.

Ian Baldry from train advisory company, IBPTS consultants, told the Independent people should avoid paying for first-class train tickets in advance but pay for the upgrade on the day.

He explained that first-class customers will be treated the same as standard class passengers by bus replacement services.

In addition, Mr Baldry warned train companies and train websites will not always alert customers to cheaper and quicker alternate routes either on their website or in person.

According to Network Rail, the Easter holidays are of the quieter times for the UK's rail network with half of the usual 4.5 million people expected to travel by train each day.

Bruce Williamson from passenger campaign group, Railfuture, told the Telegraph these were works were a "necessary evil" and have been" overdue for decades".

Network Rail CEO, Mark Carne said: "I’m acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway during the Easter holidays, but with fewer people traveling by train over this four-day weekend, it is a good time to undertake these massive improvement projects. The vast majority of services will be unaffected by this programme with over 95 pr cent of the network open as normal.

"Passengers have shown themselves to be incredibly understanding of planned improvement work and I’d like to thank them in advance for their support and understanding as we deliver the big improvements that the travelling public want to see.

"The number of people travelling by rail continues to grow to record levels. Our work this Easter forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to meet surging demand and improve and expand our congested railway network."

For a detailed list of all disruptions over the Easter bank holiday weekend, click here.