New track construction machine at Castleton Moor

Esk Valley line track upgrade in -17oC

Upgrades to the track on the Esk Valley line were not halted despite the heavy snow in North Yorkshire.

In freezing temperatures, Network Rail teams had to battle icy conditions and overnight temperatures which dropped as low as -17oC.

Between Feb 12th and Feb 21st, the track was removed and replaced, as well as the ballast and wooden sleepers which support it, in Castleton Moor and Danby.

Some of the track had served the line for well over half a century. The improvements mean smoother journeys and more reliable services can connect passengers between Middlesbrough and Whitby, as well as trains going to and from the North Yorkshire Moros Railway, for generations to come. It also reduces the amount of maintenance work needed along the route.

Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “I’m proud of our teams for completing these improvements to the track in such difficult conditions. The wintry weather in such a rural location coupled with the Covid-19 restrictions meant this was a significant challenge, but our teams were able to adapt and delivered the work safely and effectively.

Winter conditions on way to site

“The upgraded track means safe and reliable services can continue to connect communities along the route between Whitby and Middlesbrough, as well as to the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, for years to come. I’d also like to say a big thank you to our neighbours in the communities we worked in over the past few weeks for their patience and support.

“We had bus replacement services in place for passengers making essential journeys and we want to thank people for their patience whilst this vital work was carried out.”

Images: Network Rail 

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