Tuesday 8 Jan 2008

FINAL DESIGN STAGE FOR AXMINSTER LOOP BEGINS

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Southern: Wessex
| Wales & Western
| Southern
Network Rail has started its final stages of design for the planned construction of a three-mile section of track that will allow more trains to run from London to Exeter. The planned new track will be installed alongside the existing single-line railway at Axminster to provide a passing loop for trains running on the West of England Line. The enhancement to the railway will enable South West Trains to meet their franchise commitment to run an hourly service between London Waterloo and Exeter. Design work will focus on the laying of track approximately a mile and a half either side of Axminster Station and the introduction of a new signalling system. Under the plans, the station itself will see a new platform constructed, together with a footbridge to link this and the existing platform. The design of the loop will also take into account potential future enhancements on the line. Network Rail’s Wessex Route Director David Pape said: “We are committed to further developing this project, which aims to provide more trains on the West of England Line, thus delivering the growth that will encourage more people to use the railway. “We are now taking forward the design of the project and will continue to work hard to progress these improvements.”

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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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