MAJOR WORKS took place at London Euston on 26 and 27 August as part of preparations for HS2. Engineers rerouted a major power supply to the station, meaning the terminus was closed completely for the two days (see ‘High Speed 2’, p91). NR also took the opportunity to carry out track renewal on the West Coast main line near Watford and between Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted, along with track drainage improvements at Primrose Hill and ballast tamping at Bletchley.
The Euston closure led to some unusual workings: Caledonian Sleeper services were diverted to London King’s Cross, with the Highland Sleeper split into two separate trains as the full 16-car train is too long for the platforms at the terminus. To offer extra capacity, Chiltern Railways ran additional services between London and Birmingham with hired-in loco-hauled sets top-and-tailed by Rail Operations Group Class 47s. East Midlands Trains also ran extra services into St Pancras on 26 August, meaning one of its rostered HST workings to Skegness (to offer increased capacity on summer Saturdays) was replaced by a loco-hauled working top-and-tailed by GB Railfreight Class 66s.