Latest Rail News

24.08.15

Bath electrification works reach final and ‘most critical’ stage

Bath electrification works have entered their final and “most critical” stage ahead of the line’s reopening on 1 September, Network Rail says.

Workers have started to lower the track through Sydney Gardens after installing 11 new switches and crossing at Bathampton Junction.

The 10km of lowered tracks will provide the headroom needed for the overhead electrification lines that will be installed next year to power a new fleet of electric trains.

Andy Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England, said: “Work is progressing well and remains on schedule, but the last few days are always the most critical. This is why we have contingency plans in place to ensure we remain in the best possible position to hand back the line to passengers and freight services on 1 September.”

Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ are also finishing works between Middle Hill and Box Tunnel to lower the main line that runs from London Paddington towards the south west.

The second phase of works are seeing the closure of lines between Westbury and Bathampton Junction, affecting services Bath from Westbury, Freshford, Avoncliff and Chippenham. Journeys from London to Bath will be diverted via Bristol Temple Meads station.

Hayes added: “As is the case throughout Bath, we have opted for track lowering so we can preserve the city’s historic architecture, while paving the way for the new electric train. These trains will provide passengers with more seats, more legroom and faster journeys, while significantly reducing noise and pollution for those who live close to the railway line.”

We reported in our May edition that Patrick Hallgate, managing director of the Western route for Network Rail, said this summer’s works at Bath were one of the biggest jobs that they have ever done, in terms of engineering resources.

Summer work at the location is requiring 234 engineering trains for a six-week job, smashing the previous record at Nottingham.

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