Rail lines

Commonwealth Games spurs innovation along Chiltern Main Line

Passengers looking to utilise the Network Rail services between the Chiltern Main Line between Dorridge and Birmingham Moor Street will be benefitting from a more reliable line after development works have been completed. The infrastructure development work was done in tandem with the upcoming Commonwealth Games, to ensure the platforms and lines do not become overcrowded during the busy period.

The conducted works included switches and crossings, which allow the ease of train movement between one track to another, being replaced at the Tyseley train maintenance depot between Monday 20th and Friday 24th June. News sections of track have allowed for more reliable access for trains travelling throughout the depot. This site acts as hub for operators West Midlands Railway and CrossCountry.

The upcoming Commonwealth Games are expected to bring a plethora of excited passengers leading to a predicted influx of up to one million extra passenger journeys. This sudden jump in line usage threatens to put serious pressure on the affected line capacity, potentially causing delays across the region, thus risking overcrowding at key stations serving sports venues. It is hoped that the completed works should ease the intensified human traffic, mitigating potential hazards caused through the overcrowding.

Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said:

“These upgrades will improve journeys across the wider West Midlands, providing passengers with an efficient, cleaner and more reliable railway throughout our major summer of sport.

“The work will also help to reduce the risk of station platforms becoming overcrowded as a result of the predicted one million extra passenger journeys during the Commonwealth Games.”

Engineers and maintenance staff also carried out lots of additional work during the railway closure, including:

  • Installing new rails, sleepers and ballast (railway foundation stones)
  • Stressing rails to cope better with hot weather
  • Removing overgrown plants and graffiti

Whilst the construction works were conducted, a top-to-bottom deep clean of Birmingham Moor Street station was also completed. This focused on the improvements of key infrastructure such as the canopies, toilets, waiting rooms, platforms, concourse floors and beams. Disused tracks were also maintained and cleared of their overgrown vegetation. Part of these works included more than 20 volunteers from the Friends of the Shakespeare line installing 11 large planters and replanting existing ones.

The completed works were carried out in a singular time frame, which reduced future disruptions for passengers as it did not require multiple rail closures. Planning to ensure smooth and reliable passenger commutes remained at the forefront of the renovation scheme.

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