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
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.