Over 25,000 Network Rail workers completed significant infrastructure and service upgrades throughout the Christmas season, last year. The work consisted of over £148m worth of improvements as a part of ongoing Network Rail improvements throughout Britain.
Engineers, track workers, project managers and station staff completed 380,000 hours of round the clock work on upgrades including new bridges, track installations and signalling upgrades on all major lines.
330 projects were completed by 2nd January 2019. These projects consisted of:
A continuation of the £250m upgrade of the Great Eastern main line
Engineers upgraded the overhead wiring system at Forest Gate junction. Workers replaced eroded timbers on a bridge between Ely and Peterborough.
A continuation of the Midland main line upgrade
100 workers completed the first stage of a major project to upgrade the track north of Wellingborough station. Engineers installed five sets of switches and crossings.
Further development on the London North Western
Drainage improvements were made near Hampton-in-Arden. Track was renewed at Milton Keynes Central. New OLE was installed at Liverpool Lime Street. Signalling and track improvements were also carried out on major lines in Scotland, South East and on Western.
The projects were carried out as part of Network Rail’s Christmas programme of investment; an end of year bid to improve rail service during the low season, in preparation for the majority of commuters who returned to work last week.
The period between Christmas and New Year typically sees a 50% decrease in passengers (in comparison to the approximate 4.7 million passengers who use the service daily) making the end of the year a crucial time for all Network Rail workers.
Andrew Haines Network Rail chief executive said:
“Over Christmas and New Year, thousands of rail workers have been working round the clock to keep the railway running and to deliver crucial improvements to the network as part of the £50bn railway upgrade plan.” Upgrade work will continue over the next five years, after Network Rail’s £3.47bn spending plan was approved by ORR last year.