Monday 17 Jul 2017
Railway between Chippenham and Swindon reopens as £3.5m upgrade work completed
The railway line between Chippenham and Swindon re-opened today (Monday 17 July) after Network Rail completed a £3.5m drainage upgrade and track-lowering project, improving reliability of the railway through the area and paving the way for a new fleet of trains.
More than 550 Network Rail engineers put in more than 10,000 accumulative working hours to complete the project at Dauntsey, which forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The track has been lowered under two listed bridges, which will allow Great Western Railway (GWR)’s new Intercity Express Trains to run on the line later this year; providing more seats, more frequent services and more comfortable journeys for passengers.
In addition to the track lowering, engineers have also installed a drainage culvert which will help reduce the chance of the line flooding in the future.
The site was handed back three hours ahead of schedule, allowing services to resume as normal at 6am.
Simon Spencer, programme manager for Network Rail, said: “We are pleased to hand back this site ahead of schedule this morning with as little disruption caused to passengers as possible.
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we have undertaken this vital upgrade work and I’d also like to thank our engineers, who worked quickly and safely to complete this work.
“This work is another important part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, delivering significant investment into the railway network to provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers.”
GWR Operations Director Rob Mullen said:“We would like to thank passengers for their patience during the past week as Network Rail modernise the railway.
“The first Intercity Express Train to enter passenger service is just a number of months away; providing over a fifth more seats per train and with the completion of electrification quicker journeys - and the greatest step-change in experience for our passengers in a generation.”
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.