RAIL RELIEF FOR TAUNTON SERVICES: Engineers bringing Taunton relief lines up to speed

Friday 9 Jan 2009


Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
A £750K scheme funded by Network Rail to improve train service performance in the Taunton area is now complete. The enhancement of the relief line between Norton Fitzwarren Junction and Taunton station will improve train movements and reduce delays in the Taunton area.

Renewing the track and increasing its linespeed to 40mph (from 15mph) significantly improves the track’s reliability and capability. The higher speed will now mean that the relief line can be used by passenger services to and from the South West if the main line is congested or has failed.

The relief line is regularly used by freight services, Network Rail’s High Output track renewal trains, which are stabled at Fairwater yard adjacent to the relief line, and also by special train services to and from the West Somerset Railway.

Dave Ward, Network Rail’s route director said: “It may not be apparent to passengers but basic schemes like this are critical to improving service performance as the daily operation of the railway becomes more robust.

The upgrade means we can now optimise the use of the infrastructure, so that the timetable for all services will be more reliable. This is part of a wider effort to improve performance across the Western route and recent records of train punctuality demonstrate that we are on the right track.”

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