Thursday 16 Oct 2003
RESPONSE TO RPC ANNUAL REPORT
- Region & Route:
It was a difficult summer for the rail industry this year, with unusually high temperatures affecting the infrastructure and in turn affecting performance. We apologise to passengers who were inconvenienced by the delays on the Great Eastern mainline out of Liverpool Street. The overhead lines between Liverpool Street and Shenfield are ‘fixed’ and do not have balancing weights, which other areas do. The metal overhead lines expand when hot and ‘sag’.
In the short term we will be continuing with our routine, regular, overhead line maintenance programme. A complete replacement of the overhead lines to a self-tensioning system is not a cost effective and practical solution. We will however, be carrying out localised retensioning of the fixed OHL around bridges (where the OHL is slightly lower) in 2004/5 and 2006. We will also be better using our weather management systems to ensure all outbased staff are prepared in the event of future hot days.
Response to Annual Report 2002/03 – Southend
Network Rail acknowledges that there have been a number of overhead line problems on the c2c route out of Fenchurch Street. It has meant major disruption to passengers and we are very sorry for the inconvenience it must have caused. The incidents have all been unrelated, and some have been caused by external factors (such as the CTRL piling rig falling on the OHL at Purfleet 12/05/03). We have already replaced balance weights in the Benfleet area and will be working on the OHL near bridges between Barking to Fenchurch Street to minimise the chances of the OHL tripping. We will also continue with our regular maintenance programmes, which will ensure a safe railway and increase performance on this section of line.
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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.
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