Friday 27 Feb 2004

MULTI-MILLION SAFETY SCHEME VITAL FOR RAILWAY

Region & Route:
Wales
Western
Wales and Western
Vital works to preserve the mainline railway line running through South Gloucestershire are being carried out by Network Rail. The multi-million pound project is set to last two years and is vital to ensure the continuing safety of this line, which runs between South Wales and London. Part of the land within the embankment is liable to movement and, if the work is not carried out, the track safety may be compromised. Already there is a speed restriction in place, ensuring trains drop their speeds from 125mph to 85mph. Three months of preparatory work have just got underway, which will include vegetation clearance, along a section running south of the railway line between and either side of Park Lane and the A432 Badminton Road in South Gloucestershire, passing through the village of Coalpit Heath. This will be followed by stabilisation work to be completed in March 2005. Then, the same type of work – again lasting a year – will be carried out on the opposite side of the line. To enable the work to be carried out, and to access the site, it is essential for all vegetation to be cleared.             “We regret the loss of vegetation in the area but the site must be cleared to enable us to carry out our work,” said Scott Pillinger, Network Rail Project Manager. “The track lies on top of the embankment, which is currently liable to slipping. Already there is a speed restriction in place for the trains. Once this work has been carried out, the future integrity of the embankment will be assured and the speed restriction lifted allowing services to run once again at 125mph.” -more- Embankment – 2             An environmental survey of the area has already been carried out to ensure no endangered species will be disturbed. There has also been liaison with English Nature, the RSPB, CPRE and the Countryside Agency and local residents have been informed.             The stabilisation work involves reducing the gradient of the embankment and constructing retaining walls next to bridges in the area. Once work is complete, it will be reseeded with grass and may be planted with low level trees and shrubs.

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