As part of the improvement plans for the railway in Derbyshire, Network Rail is close to beginning renew works. The work focuses on junctions, signalling systems and passenger access on the Matlock branch line, forming part of a £200m project.
At the point where the Matlock branch line leaves the Midland Main Line, known as Ambergate Junction, complete replacement works are being carried out and relocated to the south. Included in this renewal work being carried out by Network Rail are changes to the signalling system and the installation of a new walkway as a way of improving the safety of all engineers working on the track.
This upgrade, which is costing £13m, will enable trains to travel at higher speeds through the area but it will mean that no trains will be on the line for a large of February which does mean that there is an average increase of around 30 minutes for each journey. While there is going to be disruption, Network Rail, East Midlands Trains and Cross-Country are working together in order to reduce the amount of disruption that passengers will experience.
It has been made clear by the router managing director for Network Rail that this work does form a large part of the Midland Main Line upgrade. However, this is the second phase of the project with the first phase involving a lot of work being undertaken as part of the Derby Resignalling upgrade. However, as the project is of significant size, it has had to be completed in two phases.
It has been acknowledged that the changes to train services will be a pain for passengers, they are being informed that these upgrades will improve the service in future and so, patience is welcomed. While the project will take a short space of time, once completed, the works will definitely bring with it a better experience for passengers.