Friday 5 Mar 2004

RAIL SCHEME WILL BRING MAJOR BENEFITS TO PASSENGERS

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
A multi-million pound scheme, set to bring major benefits to the rail system between Bristol and South Wales, has been unveiled by Network Rail.  This week, Transport Minister Kim Howells paid a visit to the site.             Costing £15 million, the project involves doubling the track through Filton Abbey Wood Station, which lies on the main Bristol to South Wales line. Currently, the station is a significant bottleneck in the area because trains have to wait outside the station until a platform becomes available. Under the scheme, which is being jointly funded by the Strategic Rail Authority and Network Rail, the track will be doubled and a new platform built alongside existing platforms at the station. Existing track and points will also be renewed. Regional Director John Curley, who showed Kim Howells around the site, said: “The current arrangement in Filton presents a major bottleneck which has a significant impact on the region’s rail network. By removing this bottleneck passengers will see a marked improvement in the rail services.” -more- Filton 2 Kim Howells, himself a commuter from South Wales, said: “Like many other passengers I often experience delays in this area.  So it’s been great to meet the people working hard to upgrade the line and see for myself exactly what needs to be done.  There will inevitably be some disruption to our journeys over the next few months but in the long term these improvements will bring huge benefits.”  Preparatory work is already underway but the majority of the work will be carried out during two periods when the lines and station will be closed and services diverted. There will be a 52-hour closure from April 10 to 12 and a 14-day closure from June 14 to 28. These have been agreed with the train operating companies. Residents in the area have been kept informed about the work, which is due for completion in October.

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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.

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