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Railway works planned for Easter


Rail travellers in London, the North West, East Anglia, the South East and the South West will once again have to contend with engineering work over Easter, with nearly every train company having to bring in buses to replace trains on some services.

Among the spots where engineering work will take place is at Waterloo station in London, with South West Trains' services affected. Passengers travelling with First Great Western will have to take buses on some routes in Berkshire, Wiltshire and Hampshire, with Reading one of the stations affected. Greater Anglia services in and out of Liverpool Street station in London will be subject to disruption, with early morning services between Ipswich and Stowmarket/Bury St Edmunds being replaced by buses.

Buses will replace trains on some London Midland routes, including some out of Euston station in London while the Southeastern train company will be running buses instead of trains due to seven lots of engineering work over the bank holiday weekend.

Passengers heading for Gatwick Airport in West Sussex will have to contend with a half-hourly service, as fewer lines and platforms are available through East Croydon in south-east London.

Six separate pieces of engineering work will mean disruption to trains run by the Northern train company, with Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe and Liverpool Lime Street among the stations from which buses will run instead of trains on some routes.

The Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) and Network Rail (NR) said the vast majority of passengers would be unaffected by the Easter work. The two companies added that the number of replacement buses had dropped 34% compared with Easter 2011.

In some instances improvement work has been brought forward. NR has pledged that no disruptive work is planned for mainline rail routes over a three-month period this summer including the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Atoc chief executive Michael Roberts said: "A significant amount of time and effort goes into making sure that disruption for passengers is kept to an absolute minimum on the small number of routes affected by improvement works."

Robin Gisby, NR's network operations managing director, said: "Passengers will see fewer buses and a better service this Easter as our vital improvement work uses new techniques and equipment that reduces the impact on train services. This will be the model for the years ahead as we invest heavily to build a bigger, better railway and support Britain's economic growth."

Meanwhile passengers on Eurostar's Channel Tunnel London to Paris services had to endure delays on Monday of up to two hours between Lille and Paris. Two Eurostar trains got stuck behind a high-speed French domestic service train which suffered a fire. Other Eurostar services were delayed after being moved on to non high-speed tracks.