RAIL services from Crewe along the West Coast Main Line have returned to normal following the third successive weekend of upgrade work at Watford.

Over the bank holiday weekend, including bank holiday Monday, more than 300 track workers and engineers continued to replace and install new sections of railway and parts of the new modern signalling system in the area.

Planning is already underway ahead of the next West Coast Main Line closure at Watford which will take place between Christmas Eve and Monday, December 29.

Jim Syddall, acting route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The past three weekends have seen a significant amount of work completed which will help to provide a better and more reliable railway on the West Coast Main Line through Watford.

“I would like to thank passengers for their patience while the work was carried out as it meant longer journeys and alternative routes for many travelling in and out of London.

“The section of track at Watford is one of the most intensively used, high-speed pieces of railway in Britain and has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years.

“There are still a further four weekends of work to come, starting with the next closure over the Christmas period.

“There is never a good time to close the railway but this work is essential to provide a reliable railway for the millions of passengers who use this section of railway every year.”

The August closures were part of eight weekend and bank holiday closures which will take place until April 2015. Significant upgrade work is being carried out to improve reliability and punctuality along the section of the railway.