Wednesday 21 Dec 2016
Network Rail workers sacrifice Christmas with families to deliver vital upgrades in Leeds
Over 120 Network Rail workers will be giving up Christmas with their families to carry out vital upgrades to the railway in Leeds.
The improvements to the railway begin after the last service on Christmas Eve and the line will fully reopen before the first service on Wednesday, 28 December. The upgrade will see the installation of two new sets of switches and crossings, which are used to move trains from one track to another.
Once completed, the £2 million upgrade will create a safer railway for passengers, as well as increasing the reliability of services passing through Leeds station.
This improvement programme is being carried out over Christmas, in order to minimise disruption to passengers. The work here is just one piece of a programme of over 200 upgrade projects, which are being delivered across Britain this holiday period.
This essential programme of investment is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan that provides more and faster services to help relieve over-crowding and responds to the tremendous growth encountered on Britain's railways.
Rob Anthony, duty manager for S&C North Alliance on behalf of Network Rail, will be working throughout the Christmas period this year.
He said: “Since I began working on the railway 17 years ago, I’ve spent many of my Christmases working. I have four young daughters, so it would be great to spend the whole of the festive period with them, but working over Christmas is all part of the job.
“We work to improve the railway all year round, but we carry out our biggest work at Christmas and other holidays, when fewer people are travelling. My role is to manage the team over the Christmas period and make sure everything is going to plan.
“The work we are doing at Leeds over Christmas is really important. We’re renewing vital parts of the railway. If this work didn’t happen, speed restrictions would have to be imposed and passengers would face delays."
Passengers are advised to check before they travel and can find a breakdown of how their journey may be affected by visiting nationalrail.co.uk/Christmas and following #ChristmasWorks on Twitter.
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.