Thursday 6 Nov 2003
MAJOR TRACK RENEWAL FOR GLOUCESTER
- Region & Route:
- Wales and Western
The biggest points renewal project in the Great Western region for more than 30 years is being carried out at Gloucester as part of Network Rail’s programme to rebuild the railway.
All the points and track to the east of Gloucester Station are in the process of being renewed. Redundant sidings are also being removed and others remodelled.
Preparatory work for the £16.5 million project started in June, much of which has been carried out with little impact on train services so far. However, to enable its completion, two track closures will be necessary, during which time there will be alterations to services into and out of Gloucester station. Most lines will be closed from Saturday November 8 (from 00.01) to Sunday 16 inclusive [line reopening 05.00 Monday], and December 8 to 14, reopening on the morning of December 15.
John Curley, Network Rail’s Regional Director said: “Network Rail’s focus is delivering tangible and sustainable performance improvements. This is a major project – part of our commitment to providing a safe and reliable railway – which will bring long-term benefits for rail travellers.”
Track – 2
Work carried out to replace 30 switches and crossings (points) and track – all around 40 years old – will result in the removal of a 20mph temporary speed restriction which exists between Gloucester station and the main line heading south to Bristol and restoring the speed limit to 40mph. The track which bypasses the station has a current speed limit of 60mph but renewal will make it possible for this to increase to 95mph.
Network Rail and its contract partner Carillion, which is carrying out the work, has liaised closely with train operating companies, residents and other groups in the area who will be affected.
During the station closures in November and December it will also be necessary to close the Horton Road level crossing and set up a diversion for vehicles. Pedestrians will not be able to cross the tracks during this time. Local authorities have been consulted over this closure.
John Curley added: “ Although we regret the inconvenience caused as a result of these two closures, they enable us to concentrate the work into a relatively small time frame rather than having to disrupt people further through a greater number of shorter closures.”
During the work, the Wales and Borders shuttle trains from Gloucester to South Wales will still operate, but other services will be replaced by road transport. During the first closure, these will connect into the rail service at Cheltenham and from Monday 10th to Friday 14th, Wessex Trains are offering all passengers, with tickets to travel, free car parking at Gloucester station. (During the second closure, services to the North will resume but road transport replaces services to the South). Passengers are advised to contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950 for further information or to obtain details from Gloucester station.
Large pieces of engineering equipment will be employed during the work, including the only two Kirov cranes in the country. Swedish Ameca track relaying machines will be used, along with a Balfour Beatty 500 tonne mobile crane.
About Network Rail
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 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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