Tuesday 10 Feb 2009

COTSWOLD RAIL SCHEME HITS NEW MILESTONE

Route:
Western
The Cotswold redoubling scheme, which will bring new tracks between Evesham and Charlbury, has entered the final stages of design, moving a step closer to delivering work on the ground.

The scheme aims to bring a marked improvement in the level of train punctuality from 76% to 92%, which is the highest performance standard set by the Office of Rail Regulation. The capacity boosting scheme will also enable more passenger trains to run on the line.

A key element in the scheme is the restoration of a total of 20-miles of track across Evesham – Moreton-in-Marsh and Ascott-under-Wychwood – Charlbury. At present, these sections of single line are limiting capacity growth and train movements, causing congestion and further delays when parts of the route fails.

Mike Gallop, route enhancement manager for Network Rail said, “This is an exciting milestone for a scheme that has come far. In this final stage of design, detailed improvement work for the next two-and-a-half years will be nailed down. We have a big task ahead to bring the scheme to commission, and we will continue to work hard to progress these improvements. We are also really grateful for the support from the industry and community and this is vital for the future success of this scheme.”

The first intensive work is planned for 18 July – 30 August 2009, when the track, and underground signal cables between Evesham – Moreton-in-Marsh and Ascott-under-Wychwood – Charlbury will be re-aligned. The improvement will help create space for the new tracks and for engineers to access the railway without having to close the line for subsequent track work.

Delivery of the work will also be staged, so that parts of the railway line can remain open when improvements are being carried out. Alternative services will also be available for trains that are not running during this period. Engineers will be maximising the time available with an aim to complete the work as early as possible.

Majority of the subsequent improvement work will not affect train services and will deploy efficient engineering techniques to reduce construction time on the site.

Notes to editors

The railway line will be closed during the following times and passengers are advised to contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 to check their travelling times before they start their journey - Oxford – Worcester, 18 July (00:10) – 3 August (05:00) 2009 Moreton – Evesham, 3 August (05:00) –24 August (05:00) 2009 Oxford – Worcester, 24 August (05:00) – 1 September (05:00) 2009

Contact information

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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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