Latest Rail News

11.08.14

Network Rail completes latest West Coast works on time

The latest phase of the West Coast Main Line upgrade work at Watford has been completed on time by Network Rail and its contractors.

Over the weekend of 9-11 August, more than 300 track workers and engineers replaced and installed new sections of railway and parts of the new modern signalling system in the area.

The signalling work was carried out by contractors AmeyColas and Siemens. However, there are a further two closures still to happen this month with the railway being closed between 16-18 August; and 23-25 August.

During the first period of upgrade work, which was completed during the May Day bank holiday weekend, Network Rail handed back the WCML late. The works on one of the UK’s most intensively-used sections of rail infrastructure form part of an £81m project to upgrade the railway around Watford, which has long been a problematic area.

Network Rail had originally planned a 16-day closure in August 2014 and a nine-day closure in February 2015. However, after feedback from key stakeholders, this strategy was revised to eight weekend and bank holiday closures resulting in “less disruption for passengers”.

Jim Syddall, acting route managing director for Network Rail, said: “The first stage of this month’s work has been successfully completed but there is still a significant amount left to do over the next two weekends.

“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. We have worked with all our industry partners to provide passengers with information in advance and will continue to during the work to minimise disruption as much as possible.”

To complete the entire work, more than 21,000 tonnes of stone ballast will be used, more than 28,000 tonnes of waste will be removed from the site and 11,000 new railway sleepers will be installed as part of nine miles of track renewals.

(Image shows works at Watford over the May bank holiday weekend)

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