Monday 21 Mar 2005

EASTER WORK ESSENTIAL FOR A BETTER RAILWAY

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
‘Large scale engineering work is essential to the future of the railway’ is Network Rail’s message today as it details this year’s Easter engineering programme for the West Country. The work has been specifically programmed to ensure that this vital activity affects as few passengers as possible.  We appreciate that this causes inconvenience for some passengers, however the four-day Easter weekend represents one of the few times in the year when major engineering activity can take place and not impact on normal peak travel periods when, on average, twice as many people use the trains as compared to holiday travel time. Announcing the news, Network Rail’s Acting Western Route Director Peter Leppard, said: “These projects are vital to deliver a more robust and reliable railway for passengers and ensure we have a railway fit for the future. “This Easter will be a busy time for the dedicated railway staff who will be hard at work undertaking crucial engineering projects that will help to deliver a better railway for everyone.” Where it has been necessary to carry out work over the entire holiday period, we have worked closely with the train operators to ensure passengers can complete their journeys using alternative travel arrangements. The largest pieces of engineering over the Easter weekend (Friday 25 March to Monday 28 March) are detailed for the region:  ·         From Saturday to Monday, parts of the line between Reading and Taunton will be closed, with road transport replacing most services ·         Road transport will be replacing trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway on Saturday and Sunday, affecting local and longer distance cross country services. The service from Bristol to Gloucester will also be replaced by road transport during this period. ·         The Exmouth branch will be closed between 21 – 25 March, with replacement bus services operating from various locations (pick-up points may not be at the station at some locations). Full alternative travel arrangements can be obtained by calling National Rail Enquiries (08457 48 49 50), logging on to www.nationalrail.co.uk or contacting local train operators.

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.

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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