Thursday 30 Oct 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Network Rail has invested £3.4m improving the tracks on the Ascot to Longcross line.  As part of Network Rail’s commitment to rebuilding the railway engineers worked around the clock to renew 6,137 yards (3.5 miles) of track between Ascot and Longcross stations. Continuously welded rail with concrete sleepers replaced jointed rail, using a total of 18,183 tonnes of ballast, 8,485 sleepers and 12,274 yards of rail.  Passengers can now expect a smoother, quieter and more reliable journey. 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 take place over seven weekends to ensure that peak commuter travel periods remained unaffected. This also caused minimum disruption to those travelling to events such as Ascot racing, the Wentworth golf tournament and international rugby at Twickenham.  Network Rail and South West Trains worked together, ensuring passengers and residents were notified well in advance. Network Rail liased with the local authority to ensure that while the railway line was closed, the A30 dual carriageway level crossing at Sunningdale could also be upgraded. This is now acknowledged as the largest level crossing in Europe.             Network Rail’s Southern Regional Director, Robin Gisby said: “This work forms part of Network Rail’s commitment to rebuilding Britain’s railway. We appreciate that passengers using the line expect an improved service and this investment is a step to delivering the service they rightly deserve.”

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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.

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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