Latest Rail News

14.01.13

Shugborough Tunnel rail replacement complete

Speeds will soon return to 100mph on parts of the West Coast Main Line, as Network Rail has completed rail replacement at Shugborough Tunnel.

The tunnel has become increasingly difficult to maintain, as was designed before container freight and high speed trains were in use.

The team dug out track and ballast, renewed the drainage and replaced everything with new equipment to keep the loading gauge constant throughout the tunnel. Over 4,000 metres of new rail were laid, alongside 2,300 sleepers, 7,200 tonnes of ballast and 1,000 metres of drainage.

Steve Featherstone, Network Rail's programme director for track delivery, said: “There were some substantial challenges we faced with the work at Shugborough and it took six months of preparatory work, including diverting cables and digging trial holes, before we could start work.

“This was owing due to the age of the tunnel and the fact that detailed plans of the structure were not available

“I'm pleased to say that thanks to that preparation we achieved the work on time and we now have a fast and reliable railway again through Shugborough.”

The work took place between Christmas Eve and January 2. The line will be retamped and lined before line speed operation resumes this month.

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