Monday 19 Oct 2009
TRACKING PROGRESS AT AXMINSTER
Improvement work to build the passing loop, which is vital to provide an hourly service between Exeter – Waterloo, is near completion.
Three miles of new track have been installed and are now ready to be joined to the existing railway at Axminster to create a passing loop at the end of this month.
The station, which now boasts a new passenger footbridge, is also primed for the finishing touches that will bring a new waiting shelter and new benches to passengers.
Richard O’Brien, Wessex route director for Network Rail said: “Not long from now, thousands of passengers will soon be able to benefit from extra services between Exeter and Waterloo. In addition, the community at Axminster will get to enjoy an improved station with better access facilities.
“We are now at the penultimate phase of the improvement work and we will continue to work hard to bring all these benefits to fruition.”
In the next two months, engineers will also be tamping down the track and upgrading the signal equipment at Chard signal box to modern standards.
Over the past nine months, engineers have -
· Installed three miles of new track
· Installed the lift shafts and lifts at Axminster station
· Constructed more than three miles of troughs for signalling cables
· Constructed and installed a new railway bridge deck at Wilhay Lane
· Strengthened railway bridges through the three mile route, most notably over the River Axe
Funded by Network Rail, the £20m scheme began in February this year. Since then, engineers have been working round the clock, especially during periods when there are no trains to minimise any inconvenience to passengers and the community.
The remaining work will continue to be delivered during weeknights and over a series of weekends, with the exception of the final phase of work. The railway line between Yeovil Junction and Honiton will be closed from 28 November to 6 December 2009 to allow engineers to test and commission the new signal equipment safely.
Alternative services will be provided for and passengers are advised to check their journey time with their train operators or National Rail Enquiries before they travel.
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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.