Monday 5 Sep 2016
Network Rail issues level crossing safety warning ahead of Severn Tunnel closure
Network Rail has issued a level crossing safety warning urging the public to be extra vigilant when using crossings, while the Severn Tunnel is closed for essential upgrade work.
On Monday, 12 September the Severn Tunnel will close for six weeks as Network Rail’s orange army work day and night to prepare the 130-year-old tunnel for electrification–delivering more seats, more frequent services and faster, greener journeys – all part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
As a result of the closure, all freight trains and some passenger trains travelling between Swindon and Newport will be diverted via Gloucester increasing rail traffic on the line.
Level crossings along this route will be busier and Network Rail is urging the public to take extra care and be vigilant when crossing the railway.
Andrew Bound, route level crossing manager for Network Rail Wales said: “It is extremely important that signals and signs at level crossings are obeyed at all times and we are urging the public to be extra vigilant along the diversion route during this six week closure.
“The increase in rail traffic on the diversion route will mean attention to the warnings at level crossings, avoiding distractions and staying safe when crossing the railway will be even more important particularly with many school children using the crossings to get to and from school every day.”
Motorists will also need to allow extra time for their journeys as level crossing barriers will be down more frequently along the diversion line and people living close to the railway will notice an increase in rail traffic during the six-week closure.
Dan Tipper, area director for Network Rail Wales, said: “This iconic project will result in short-term disruption for passengers and we would like to thank everyone for their understanding and patience while we complete this essential upgrade.
“There are significant long-term benefits which will come as a result of electrifying the railway to Cardiff by 2019 including faster, greener, more frequent and reliable journeys for passengers. It will also provide a boost to economic growth in South Wales thanks to better connectivity to and from London, a critical factor for attracting inward investment.
“Without a solid six-week closure, it would take engineers up to five years to complete the upgrade, causing long-term disruption for passengers and delaying electrification of the railway until 2021."
For more information on level crossings visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/level-crossings.
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 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.