Major work to replace a Victorian drainage culvert beneath the railway in Aylesbury is now complete. The work, which took 12 days, involved removing the old brick-built culvert and installing a new 18-section pre-cast concrete culvert. The new culvert is designed to be more resilient to flooding and other weather events.
The original culvert was a rare example of where the railway wasn’t built first and caused issues with the locks opening which when full would have to drain via the culvert.
HS2 Work to begin next month
The culvert repair is the first of two major upgrades taking place in Aylesbury this summer. The second upgrade will allow HS2, to pass under the existing railway between Aylesbury and Little Kimble stations. This work is scheduled to begin in September and is expected to take 10 weeks.
The works are part of Network Rail's £48 billion investment in the railway over the next five years and this particular works programme is part of a wider £1.6 billion investment in the Chiltern Railways network as it looks to improve capacity and reliability on the line alongside improving the environmental defences.
The closure meant that a full programme of works could be completed alongside the culvert installation, including replacing 700 metres of rail and 85 sleepers, and upgrading three sets of points.
Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “I know our work in Aylesbury has and continues to be extremely disruptive for passengers and I’d like to apologise for this and thank people for their patience while we completed vital repairs which will help to make journeys more reliable.
“Our second phase of work is now underway to prepare for HS2, Britain’s new high speed railway and I’d urge passengers travelling between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough stations to continue to plan their journeys in advance”
Richard Allan, Chiltern Railways managing director, said: "We are pleased that a permanent fix has now been completed to the culvert at Aylesbury which has caused disruption to our services since January. We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding while this essential work has taken place.
“Customers should be aware that the railway between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough will be closed for a further ten weeks as the track is realigned to enable the HS2 high-speed railway to pass beneath it.”
Photo and Video credit: Network Rail