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Published on : Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Trains between Didcot and Oxford will be replaced by a rail replacement bus service for 16 days this summer as Network Rail’s orange army improve the reliability of the railway for passengers by tackling flooding on the line that runs through Hinksey in Oxfordshire.
The flood alleviation work, which involves raising the height of tracks to prevent them from being flooded, will take place between Oxford and Didcot Parkway from Saturday, 30 July until Sunday, 14 August.
Additional work will also see the railway between Oxford and Banbury closed from Saturday, 30 July to Sunday, 7 August, for signalling improvements, and between Oxford and Hanborough, for bridge repairs, from Wednesday, 3 August to Sunday, 7 August.
The work is part of Network Rail’s railway upgrade plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers and businesses.To reduce the risk of flooding the track will be increased in height by more than half a metre with large pipes, or culverts, installed under the railway line to allow water to flow from one side to the other, reducing the impact future flooding may have for passengers.
Flooding in the Hinksey area has been a long-standing problem which has had a severe impact on the local community who rely on the railway. In total, it has resulted in 11 closures in 14 years on this part of the Western route, causing extensive disruption to passengers and businesses through the cancellation and diversion of passenger and freight services.
Joanna Grew, Network Rail’s commercial scheme sponsor for the project, said: “During the past two years, as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver a better railway for passengers, we have worked with the Environment Agency to find a long-term solution to the problem. This has involved carrying out detailed flood modelling and an in-depth environmental study to establish the cause of the flooding and the options available to reduce the chances of it happening again.
“It is really important for us to work with the Environment Agency which will improve services for passengers; and enable us to work together to limit disruption for those living near the railway.
“The culverts comprising of 64 sections that will be installed will not only reduce the impact of flooding on the railway in this area, but will also help the Environment Agency as they work with local authorities to minimise flooding in the region as part of the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme.”