Latest Rail News

24.06.13

WCML infrastructure improvements to boost performance

The West Coast Main Line is to see £40m of investment to improve the infrastructure and increase performance and reliability, Network Rail has announced.

Projects include £10m to construct over 11 miles of security fencing along the line to reduce delays caused by trespass and vandalism, changing the way Network Rail stores and analyses OLE condition data to allow essential maintenance to be completed quicker, and working with London Midland and the Samaritans to implement suicide prevention measures at stations between Watford and Milton Keynes.

The work follows severe criticisms from Virgin Trains, as the infrastructure was leading the TOC to consistently miss performance targets.

Dyan Crowther, route managing director, Network Rail said: “We are not satisfied with the current performance of our infrastructure on the southern end of the West Coast main line, which is one of Britain’s most vital rail arteries.

“This line has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years and, just like a busy motorway during rush hour, more trains mean that if something goes wrong, the knock on effects can be significant.

“We have identified almost £40m worth of investment aimed at improving performance by targeting some of the most common causes of delay. Some of the measures will be delivered in a few short months while others are more long-term.”

Chris Gibb, Chief Operating Officer at Virgin Trains added: “I am pleased that Network Rail has decided to progress all the recommendations and make a £40m investment to improve performance on the southern end of West Coast Main Line for our customers. Already we are starting to see that investment actually taking place but both Network Rail and the train operators need to keep the pressure on to ensure that lasting improvements in performance are achieved.”

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