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Further commuter delays as engineering works continue

West Coast Mainline remained shut today between Northampton and Birmingham while works continued on the remodelling of Rugby station. Network Rail have confirmed that services should resume from tomorrow.

The work, which should have finished by New Years Eve, was said by Network Rail to be held up by a shortage of specialist engineering and contractor staff needed to rebuild the overhead electrification.

A Network Rail spokesperson confirmed that the track should be back up and running once tests have been completed and services should resume from 5am tomorrow.

The works included relaying the tracks through Rugby in a different alignment, which will allow more trains through and open up what was previously considered a bottleneck on the West coast mainline.

This will increase the capacity in the network for more trains from London to Birmingham and Manchester.

An overrun on engineering works near Liverpool Street saw the station remaining closed yesterday, to the anguish of many commuters. It is not yet known what caused the delay, but Network Rail have launched a full investigation.

Over the Christmas and New Year period Network Rail carried out 35 major schemes (valued at £1m upwards). Thirty-three of these were completed successfully and on time, including £10m track & signalling work at Edinburgh Waverley, £14m signalling at Wakefield, £15m track work at Airport Junction (London) and a £10m upgrade the Shugborough Viaduct (West Coast).

The Office of Rail Regulation yesterday confirmed that it would launch an investigation into the overruns, and Network Rail could face a large fine if they are found to have managed the projects ineffectively.

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