as reported by the birmingham mail,

Drama is always guaranteed when the richest game in football takes place at Wembley – but this probably isn’t what Aston Villa fans had in mind on May 26.

Because Villa fans hopeful of a play-off final at Wembley could see their plans to get to the capital thwarted by rail engineering work.

Government-owned Network Rail will carry out more than 820 projects during the first and last weekends of the month.

Signalling improvements at Birmingham New Street on May 26 and 27 mean London Euston-Birmingham trains will be replaced by buses between Birmingham and Coventry.

That means Villa fans hoping to go to Wembley – should the side get there – face a bus trip down the M6 to Coventry before getting on the train to the capital, or making other arrangements.

Villa fans can still get to Wembley from Snow Hill – albeit via a change, at Marylebone or High Wycombe.

The organisation says it schedules work for bank holidays as there are fewer passengers than normal on those days.

Between May 5 and 7 Liverpool’s mainline services will be reduced, with some replaced by buses or diverted via Manchester.

Significant work in the south of Scotland between Glasgow and Edinburgh means East Coast services will start and terminate at Edinburgh, while West Coast trains will not run north of Lancaster/Oxenholme Lake District.

Rail connections to the UK’s busiest airport, Heathrow, will be severed on May 6, when there will also be no trains serving London Paddington.

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A rail replacement bus service will also be in place between Ingatestone/Billericay in Essex and London Liverpool Street throughout the second three-day weekend of the month.

Trains between Didcot and Chippenham/Bristol Parkway will be disrupted due to electrification work.

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Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: “This May, thousands of rail workers will be working round the clock to deliver crucial upgrades to the rail network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“This huge investment programme will provide faster, better services and help relieve over-crowding to respond to the huge growth on Britain’s railways.

“While most of the network is open for business as usual, some routes are heavily affected and so we strongly advise passengers to plan ahead this May.”

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