A ten-week project to move a section of railway between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough to make way for HS2 has been completed.
The work involved replacing almost 2km of track across a brand-new embankment built by HS2’s contractor, EKFB (a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall).
Work included replacing just under 3,000 concrete sleepers. 2,000 metres of rail and 11,000 tonnes of ballast.
The railway between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough reopened to passengers and freight trains yesterday. (Monday 30 October).
The completed work will allow HS2 to construct new high speed lines that will run beneath a new 100 metre steel bridge, carrying the existing railway.
Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to passengers and local people for their patience while we carried out our major improvements in Aylesbury which will pave the way for HS2, Britain’s new high-speed railway.
“As part of the project we’ve upgraded almost 2km of track in the area which will mean locally that our passengers and freight customers will also benefit from smoother and more reliable journeys.”
To help keep passengers moving during the railway closure, Chiltern Railways operated a bus replacement service between Aylesbury, Little Kimble, Monks Risborough and Princes Risborough stations.
HS2 has also built a bridge structure to the north of the new high-speed railway line, which will allow the proposed South West Aylesbury Link Road to pass underneath the line between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough.
To reduce the environmental impact of the major construction work, most of the materials needed were delivered to the site by rail. This includes the new railway ballast (stone), which has helped to remove over 800 lorry movements from the local and national road network.
Tony Baxter, operations director at Chiltern Railways, said: "We'd like to offer our sincere thanks to our customers, whose patience and understanding during this ten-week line closure has enabled these vital HS2 works to take place. “
Network Rail also confirmed that Marsh Lane level crossing - which was closed to enable the track realignment work - will remain shut to road users until 2024 while a project to upgrade the level crossing and bring it up to modern safety standards takes place.
Photo Credit: Network Rail