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Network Rail gets cracking with Easter track improvements in Sheffield to boost reliability across the North

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Network Rail is making vital improvements between Sheffield and Meadowhall over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend which will reduce delays across the North and bring a more reliable railway for passengers.

As people enjoy their Easter eggs, teams will be out upgrading the points – the equipment which allows trains to move from one track to another - and replacing the ballast which supports the track.

As well as bringing smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers, this project will remove a temporary speed restriction which is causing every train that leaves Sheffield and runs towards Meadowhall to be slightly delayed.
We’re not yoking - faster passenger services are currently delayed by one minute, stopping services by two and freight services by three. Although this doesn’t sound like a lot, it adds up to over 313 hours since February 2019 and it has a knock-on impact across the wider railway.

Significant improvements are being made to the points in a tunnel just north of Sheffield station – which are used by all trains to Rotherham, Worksop, Retford, Meadowhall, Barnsley, Wakefield, Doncaster and Leeds. This eggcellent work will create a more resilient railway, not only between Sheffield and Meadowhall but across the North.
To allow this work to take place safely, the line between Sheffield and Meadowhall will be closed and replacement buses will keep passengers who need to make essential journeys moving.
In line with the latest Government guidance, people are urged to minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday. Passengers can find out how their Easter journeys will be affected via National Rail Enquiries, with their train operator or by following #EasterRailWorks on Twitter.

The following changes to services will be in place on Saturday 3, Sunday 4 and Monday 5 April:

  •  Buses will replace Northern services between Sheffield and Meadowhall, Sheffield and York and Sheffield and Lincoln/Cleethorpes
  • Stopping services between Sheffield and Doncaster will not run
  • Services between Sheffield and Leeds via Moorthorpe will run between Meadowhall and Leeds via Moorthorpe
  • Trains between Sheffield and Hull will instead operate between Rotherham Central and Hull only
  • Trains between Sheffield and Leeds via Barnsley will start/end at Meadowhall
  • Buses will replace CrossCountry services between Sheffield and Wakefield Westgate
  • TransPennine Express services will not run between Sheffield and Doncaster
  • East Midlands Railway services will not run to the North of Sheffield

Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “This major renewal of points between Sheffield and Meadowhall will mean more passengers arriving at their destination on time right across Yorkshire and the north.

“While our teams have done their best to manage the issue for many months to keep trains moving, the time is now – while fewer people are using the railway – to close the line and put brand new equipment in place that will mean better train services when people return to rail in the months and years ahead."

“We want to thank passengers who need to travel for their patience as we bring a more modern, reliable railway.”

A spokesperson on behalf of train operators on the route, said: “We would like to thank passengers for continuing to follow the latest Government guidance and ask them to minimise travel over Easter."

“Bus replacement services are running to keep people making essential journeys moving whilst these vital upgrades in Sheffield take place. The work will bring a more reliable railway for our passengers."

“We strongly advise people to check before traveling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator."


For further information please contact:

CrossCountry - email: [email protected]

Notes to Editors:

CrossCountry’s network is the most geographically-extensive passenger rail franchise in Britain. Stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance and from Stansted to Cardiff, it calls at over 100 stations. Based in Birmingham, CrossCountry connects seven of the Britain’s 10 largest cities and delivers 298 services every weekday, equating to some 40 million passenger journeys a year.

For further information on CrossCountry services visit or follow them online via Twitter at @crosscountryuk or

CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group, one of the leading providers of passenger transport in Europe. Arriva employs over 46,000 people and delivers over 2 billion passenger journeys across 14 European countries each year.

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