Wednesday 22 Nov 2017
Better journeys for passengers as £4m embankment repairs are completed on the West Coast main line
- London North Western
Passenger journeys in and out of Euston will be more reliable following a £4m project to stabilise railway embankments near Watford.
Services on the West Coast main line were severely affected in September 2016 when a train derailed after hitting a landslip, caused by torrential rain, on the line between Watford and King’s Langley. A train travelling in the opposite direction then clipped the derailed train.
No-one was injured but extensive work was needed to re-open the railway. In just one weekend, Team Orange removed the two damaged trains, cleared the debris off the tracks and repaired the railway.
That’s when the really challenging work began - to clear and strengthen the embankment so there will be no repeat slips in the future.
Over the past 14 months, £3.954m has been invested to stabilise the cutting. All vegetation was removed so that 1km of rock netting and soil matting could be installed on top of the 500+ rock anchors which were embedded into the chalk face.
Gavin Evans, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “Passengers will have more reliable journeys through the Watford area thanks to this investment. The challenge was to work safely around the operational railway without impacting on journeys. A large proportion of the work took overnight and at weekends and the work we have done will protect the cutting for more than 60 years.”
Steve Helfet, London Midland’s head of West Coast Services said: “ This is a great example of one railway working together to make much needed repairs and improvements. The work was done with minimal impact to our customers on one of the busiest stretches of railway in Europe.”
The scheme completed earlier this month.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.