Published on : Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Network Rail and Great Western Railway thanked passengers and lineside neighbours today for their patience following the completion, on time, of railway improvement work in the south west and Thames Valley.
As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers, an extensive programme of work totalling £14.5m took place over the bank holiday weekend. This multi-million pound investment was the latest phase of work to prepare the Great Western Main Line for the arrival of electrification and a new fleet of electric trains, as well as Elizabeth line services from 2018.
The work included:
Installing a new bridge at Broad Town Road in Royal Wootton Bassett in preparation for electrification and the arrival of the new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains.
Installing the foundations for the overhead electrification equipment that is essential to power the new electric trains. This process is known as ‘piling’ and took place at various locations in the south west and Thames Valley.
Installing the overhead electrification equipment in the Thames Valley to power the electric trains.Station and track improvements at Southall and Hayes & Harlington stations as part of the Crossrail construction work, to better connect the south east with London.
Installing a new set of points on the approach to Paddington station to provide greater reliability for passengers.
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said: “I’d like to thank the public for their patience while we completed the latest phase of our extensive railway upgrade programme, which I’m pleased to say was completed on time.
“This means the public are a step closer to the benefits that electrification and the new Elizabeth line services will bring. These include faster trains with more seats and more legroom, less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway and better connections from the west and Thames Valley into central London.”
Mark Hopwood, GWR’s managing director, said: “Some of our passengers have faced longer journeys or bus replacement services, and will do so again on different parts of our network during the next bank holiday weekend – thank you for your continuing patience as this vital work takes place.
“The Great Western network is already seeing the biggest investment since Brunel, and these improvement works will allow passengers to take advantage of the full benefits of electrification; providing newer trains, faster, more frequent services and importantly, given the growth this network has seen in recent years, more seats.”