Tuesday 3 Jan 2017
Network Rail completes £4.5 million railway upgrades on time over Christmas
Network Rail has completed another £4.5 million slice of the £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade on time over Christmas, which will boost capacity at Waterloo by 30% by December 2018.
In total, the equivalent of over 15,000 hours went into delivering the upgrades which included replacing sets of points (the equipment which allows trains to move between tracks) and improving the signalling at Queenstown Road; complex signalling and power modifications at Waterloo to enable work throughout 2017; and continuing hydro-demolition work in the former International Terminal at Waterloo as part of the plans to re-open the five former international platforms.
Network Rail’s orange army also created openings on platforms 1 & 2 and 3 & 4. These 15 metre long holes will eventually become extra staircases that will improve passenger flow through the station by providing additional access to London Underground services, once the platforms are extended.
Becky Lumlock, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Christmas provides us with a great chance to deliver vital aspects of our Railway Upgrade Plan while causing the least amount of disruption to passengers. Our orange army have worked around the clock through Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day, providing a better railway for the growing number of passengers using the railway.
“Our work will now continue behind the scenes in the international terminal, but I’d like to thank all those who gave up their Christmases in order to deliver these upgrades.”
Across the country, Network Rail has invested £103 million this Christmas in nearly 200 upgrade projects.
In 2017 the £800 million Waterloo & South West Upgrade will continue, with Network Rail rebuilding the former International Terminal, and during a three week part-closure in August will extend platforms 1-4 to accommodate longer trains. In the meantime South West Trains will start to introduce a fleet of 30 brand new trains, providing 150 extra carriages, in April 2017.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.