Tuesday 31 Aug 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
| Southern
The railway line between Paddington and Reading was re-opened to passengers first thing this morning, following the successful completion of an £8 million programme of engineering work to install 14 new sets of points on the Great Western Main Line, either side of Slough. John Curley, Network Rail Route Director, said: “We would like to thank passengers for bearing with us while this essential work was carried out.  Our engineers have been hard at work over the last ten days to get the job done, and successfully handed the line back for passengers this morning.  Network Rail is committed to providing a safe and reliable railway, and the investment we have made in this busy route will help us to achieve this.” A team of between 100 and 150 Network Rail engineers worked around-the-clock during the ten day closure of parts of the Great Western Main Line.  The project saw the successful renewal of 14 sets of crucial points, as well as around half a mile of track and 3000 tonnes of ballast.  Network Rail worked closely with train operators, First Great Western and First Great Western Link, to ensure that passengers were provided with adequate travel alternatives during the closure.  A bus replacement service was in operation throughout the closure, or passengers could make use of enhanced South West Trains services from Reading to London Waterloo.  A special coach service was also laid on between Reading and London Paddington to cater for visitors to the Reading festival.

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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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