Thursday 18 Dec 2003


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern
| Southern
Network Rail is investing £5 million on renewing the track and its foundations between Shenfield and Chelmsford.  This massive investment forms part of Network Rail’s continuing task of rebuilding Britain’s railway. The work will take place on Sundays from 4 January 2004 to 8 May 2004.  For 19 continuous weeks up to 80 engineers will have 27 hours to work on the track.  During the closures, First Great Eastern will provide an alternative bus service between Chelmsford and Shenfield. Mark Phillips, Network Rail Regional Director said:  “Network Rail is investing millions of pounds and massive resources to improve its railway.  26 tonnes of rail and 12,500 sleepers will be replaced along with 30,000 tonnes of ballast.  Passengers and our customers, the Train Operating Companies, will immediately see the benefits.  We apologise for the inconvenience the work will cause to Sunday leisure travellers, but the long term gain far outweighs the short term pain.” The majority of the track and sleepers on this stretch of the Great Eastern main line are around 30 years old and although safe, train performance can be affected as speed restrictions are put in place where maintenance is required.  This series of closures will replace around five miles of track, improve track drainage, remove speed restrictions thus improving the performance, reliability and ride quality of passengers’ journeys. - more - £5m – 2 Work will start north of Margaretting near a bridge, which is locally known as Hilliers Grove or Killegrews (off Three Mile Hill, A1016).  Every Sunday, engineers will aim to replace around 440 yards (around ¼ mile) of track.  The original track will be cut and removed along with the old sleepers and old ballast.  The foundations of the railway can then be worked on.  Soil mechanic surveys have already been undertaken and locations for maintenance identified.  Sand may be laid at this stage along with geotextiles, which can help drainage and foundation stability.  The area will then be re-ballasted with ballast from Mountsorrell Quarry in Leicester, and sleepers and track laid.  A tamping machine, which mechanically aligns the track using on-board computers, will finish the job.  All this within 27-hours! By the beginning of April 2004, engineers will have reached the viaduct bridge, over Parkway (A138) just south of Chelmsford Station and will turn around to start work on the London-bound track.  Further engineering work on the Great Eastern main line will be carried out in 2004, details of which will be released nearer the time. For travel information during the work, please contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or consult the train operating companies websites: and

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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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