Monday 7 Apr 2003

ENGINEERING WORKS ON GREAT WESTERN MAINLINE IN AUGUST

Route:
Wales
Western
Network Rail has confirmed that it will be carrying out major track renewal works in the Slough area over the August Bank Holiday weekend (22 – 25 August 2003) following wide consultation with industry partners.  The work will involve replacing several sections of track and points on the four-track railway at Dolphin Junction, near Slough. As a result, part of the route between Reading and Paddington will be closed from 23.00 Friday August 22 until 05.00 Tuesday August 26 2003, though Paddington station will remain open with some local services operating, including Heathrow Express.  Reading station will be open for the duration of the work with a train service from Reading to London Waterloo available throughout, with up to four trains an hour during Bank Holiday Monday.  Journey times between Reading and Waterloo will be approximately 75 minutes. In addition, Network Rail is providing a large number of coaches from midnight to transport Reading festival goers from Reading station to Waterloo during the early hours of Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings.  -more- August Bank Holiday – 2 Services will also be available from Reading for passengers travelling to the west and Heathrow Express will remain unaffected. In addition to this work, some preparatory work will be taking place during the week prior to the Bank Holiday weekend.  This will mean a reduction in the train service between Reading and London during this period and an amended timetable will be produced nearer the time.  Network Rail’s Regional Director, John Curley, said:  “This crucial engineering work is part of our commitment to provide a safe and reliable railway.  It is important that we improve track quality in the Slough area and avoid the need for severe line speed restrictions over several miles. We would like to apologise in advance to everyone who will be affected by this work and will do our utmost to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum.” The cost of the whole project is around £8.5m.

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