Monday 7 Feb 2005


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Passengers using the Chiltern line are soon to benefit from two major projects which will improve the reliability of the heavily-used route for passengers.  The £2.8 million investment is funded by Network Rail, with a contribution from the London Borough of Brent. Robbie Burns, Network Rail Route Director, said: “Network Rail is committed to improving safety and performance on Britain’s railway.  We are investing a huge amount of time and effort into renewing and upgrading this busy line to secure its future reliability for passengers.” The Chiltern route consists of two main lines from London Marylebone towards Aylesbury, Claydon and Banbury.  It is an important commuter link into London, and provider of long distance Chiltern Railways services to the West Midlands.  It also runs parallel to the Metropolitan and Jubilee tube lines as far as Harrow-on-the-Hill. The substantial investment includes £1.2 million for the partial reconstruction of Preston Road bridge in Brent, to increase its strength to match the latest European standards.  The work was planned to coincide with a £1.6 million programme of track renewals between Marylebone and Harrow-on-the-Hill, to deliver a smoother and better performing railway for passengers.  Rail replacement bus services are in operation for six consecutive Sundays to allow the work to be carried out (further details can be found below). Neil Micklethwaite, Chiltern Railways Commercial Manager, said: ”The work will bring substantial benefits to passengers in the long-term and that can only be good news.  There will be some disruption, and we apologise to passengers for any inconvenience, but a bus replacement service will be available.”    Preston Road bridge The £1.2 million partial reconstruction of Preston Road bridge over the railway in Brent is funded jointly by Network Rail and the London Borough of Brent.  The core work will take place over two weekends, when a section of the bridge will be completely replaced to remove existing traffic restrictions and bring the bridge up to modern standards.  Preston Road bridge spans three railway lines used by London Underground and Chiltern Railways.  The part of the bridge over the Chiltern line is older than the rest and will be demolished and rebuilt on Sunday 6 and 13 February.  For safety reasons, the railway line below will be closed to trains during this work and alternative road transport will be provided.  Preston Road bridge will be closed to road traffic for approximately five weeks, starting Monday 31 January, to ensure the safety of workers and road users while the main bulk of work is carried out.  Diversionary routes are clearly signposted and pedestrian access will be maintained at all times. Network Rail has been in close contact with local residents and businesses to provide details of the work, which will ensure the bridge conforms to the latest European vehicle weight standards.  It will also allow the existing traffic restrictions to be removed.  Track renewals Network Rail is investing £1.6 million to replace over 5000 yards of worn out track and 7400 sleepers between London Marylebone and Harrow on the Hill.  This investment will secure the future of the line and ultimately improve train performance for passengers.  Track workers will work through the night on 29-hour shifts over six consecutive Sundays, from 16 January to 20 February 2005.  Nearly 2600 yards of track have already been replaced around Preston Road and another 900 yards of track will be replaced on each of the next three weekends around Wembley Park. The programme of track renewals was planned to take place on Sundays when fewer people tend to travel, and to coincide with the Preston Road bridge work to minimise overall disruption to passengers.  ______________________________ Page 2 of 3 £2.8M INVESTMENT FOR THE CHILTERN LINE Alternative travel arrangements: Sunday 13 February, Sunday 20 February Chiltern Railways’ services will be replaced by buses between Amersham and Beaconsfield for trains to and from London Marylebone.  Passengers should allow extra time for their journeys.  For further travel information or advice, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or log on to  Information on alternative bus services is also available in the track improvement work timetable, available at any Chiltern Railways station.

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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.

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