Major upgrades on the Midlands Corridor, stretching from Oxford to Leamington Spa are due to begin at the end of the month, Network Rail has confirmed.
In Oxford, a nine-day period of intensive track and signalling work around Oxford station is due to begin, including upgrading lineside signalling equipment and the installation of high-speed crossovers that will enable trains to leave the station quicker and help make space for the additional line and platform being installed for East West Rail in 2024.
Work has begun near the area already, with Botley Road currently closed at the rail bridge since April to facilitate the first stage of the work including diverting the complex layout of utility services, such as water, gas and electricity, that run beneath the road.
Work at the site is currently paused, following the discovery of an expansive brick arch beneath the road surface, while engineers assess how best to safely remove the structure.
Clare Mahoney, Network Rail’s industry programme director said: “This nine-day period of 24-hour working is a really important milestone in the Oxfordshire Connect Programme and we thank passengers, local residents and businesses for their patience while this work is completed. It is a vital enabler for the upgrades that will follow and crucial preparation for the introduction of East West Rail.”
Several major projects are also taking place further up the corridor as Network Rail prepare to work on strengthening a railway viaduct in Leamington Spa. The renovations which have cost £11 million will preserve the 179-year old structure as it repoints mortar across the viaducts nine arches.
Further work will take place in Banbury, with new track being laid across a 2.2 mile stretch and HS2 will be installing a 47-metre bridge in Kenilworth. The giant 5,600 tonne structure has been built on site and will slowly move it into place.
Denise Wetton, Network Rail Central route director, said: “I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience ahead of this major work while we carry out essential maintenance on an historic viaduct in Leamington Spa, new signalling is installed for East West Rail in Oxford and HS2 builds a key structure that will enable the railway of the future.”
The work on the line is due to take place between Saturday 29 July until Sunday 6 August.
Photo Credit: Network Rail
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