Friday 29 Sep 2017
Documentary series continues as railway engineers face task of repairing track into London in just four hours
A member of Network Rail’s Orange Army will feature in the fourth episode of behind the scenes documentary Paddington 24/7 as his team faced the challenge of repairing a vital section of track in just four hours before all lines were due to reopen.
Jonny Westcott led his team out onto the railway just outside London Paddington to successfully repair track that would severely impact morning commuters into and out of Brunel’s iconic station the following day if it was not fixed.
The small defect about the size of a 50 pence piece proved to be a big job as it meant a 60 foot section of track, weighing more than a ton, had to be replaced to avoid the damaged area breaking in the future, which would lead to all trains being stopped in and out of London Paddington.
The eight-part series follows railway workers on the Great Western Mainline as they deal with the biggest modernisation of the line for generations, major incidents which are causing disruption on the railway, huge sporting events as well as the day-to-day challenge of running one of the UK’s busiest stations.
In episode four, Jonny and his team had the added challenge of working next to moving trains as services continued in and out of London through the night. He explained the ongoing challenge: “The railway is so busy that we often only get a couple of hours to carry out urgent work but we have a great team and we delivered on time.
“If the railway is not maintained and defects are not repaired or removed by certain due dates then precautionary procedures are put in place such as speed restrictions, which would cause passengers major delays. This adds real pressure on us to get the job done as quickly as we can but also safely and correctly.
“Until I started at Paddington I didn’t realise how small the timeframes are in which we have to get certain tasks done such as rail changing, it’s a huge challenge. We are passionate about the work we do and proud that we help keep the passengers moving.
“I hope people watch the documentary and get a better understanding of what Network Rail does and the range of challenges we face at all times of day.”
The fourth episode of Paddington 24/7 will be aired on Monday 2 October on Channel 5 at 9pm with each episode shown on subsequent Monday evenings at the same time.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.