Monday 7 Dec 2015
Trains running on upgraded railway between Crewe and Shrewsbury
- Region & Route:
- | North West & Central
Train passengers were travelling today for the first time on a newly modernised railway between Crewe and Shrewsbury following a £25m upgrade by Network Rail.
The nine-day job, part of Network Rail's Railway Upgrade Plan, was completed early this morning. New signalling equipment - the traffic lights of the railway - and points motors were installed to make the railway more reliable for Arriva Trains Wales customers travelling on this stretch of the route between Manchester and Cardiff.
Paul Danks, Network Rail's project manager for the work, said: "We do essential upgrades like this because we care about delivering the best possible experience for train passengers, who I'd like to thank for bearing with us while we did this work.
"Arriva Trains Wales customers as far afield as South Wales and the north of England will benefit from this. While they may not be able to see the difference along this two-mile section of track, they will feel the difference over the long term in more punctual, more reliable services less prone to delays.
"The railway is vital to the region's economic health and our Railway Upgrade Plan work will help strengthen that."
While the work took place, from Saturday 28 November to Sunday 6 December, buses replaced trains between Crewe and Shrewsbury and some train services were diverted via Wrexham General.
That allowed Network Rail's 300-strong team of engineers to work around the clock to replace 30-year-old signalling equipment with a new, faster system controlled by the company's signalling centre in Crewe.
The new signalling system includes LED lights easier for train drivers to see and less prone to mechanical failures. The team also replaced the motors in 28 sets of points with new, better ones.
Claire Lillie, Arriva Trains Wales spokesperson, said: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience during these essential improvement works. It is great to have the line back to normal especially in the busy run up to Christmas where many of our customers will be heading out on the train to do their Christmas shopping!”
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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.