Tuesday 20 Apr 2004


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail has invested over £1.1 million improving the tracks on the Dover to Folkestone line.  As part of Network Rail’s commitment to rebuild the railway, engineers worked around the clock to renew 1,394 yards of rail in the Shakespeare Tunnel on this stretch of line. Continuously welded rail with concrete sleepers was installed using a total 1,500 tonnes of ballast, 1,941 sleepers and 1,394 yards of rail.  Passengers can now expect a smoother, quieter and more reliable journey.   If placed end to end the sleepers would almost reach nearly four times the height of Ben Nevis. All work carried out was subject to an environmental and ecological survey to ensure that protected species were not disturbed during the work.  The work was specifically programmed to takle place at the weekends to ensure that peak commuter travel periods remained unaffected. Network Rail and South Eastern Trains worked together, ensuring passengers and residents were notified well in advance.             Network Rail’s Regional Director, Robin Gisby said: “Network Rail is committed to rebuilding the railway and proactively managing our assets. Our frontline staff are targeting parts of the infrastructure and improving them to ensure that we can deliver a better service for our customers and the passenger.”

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About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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