‘Orange Army’ on track to prepare Bath’s Railway Line for electrification

Published on : Monday, July 27, 2015

4157604c358146d398f9b07110025e90Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ has hit the first week milestone in the project to prepare Bath’s railway line for electrification, with all work currently on schedule.

 

The £50m project started on Saturday 18 July and involves lowering 10km of track through Dundas Aqueduct, Box Tunnel, Middle Hill Tunnel and Sydney Gardens, as well as the installation of 11 new sets of points.

 

The purpose of lowering the track is to make room for the overhead line equipment that will be needed to power a new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains to run underneath. By lowering the track it also removes the need to make significant changes to Bath’s historic architecture.

 

Over the last week the ‘orange army’ has completed track-lowering work under the A4 at Box Ashley and through Middle Hill Tunnel on the main line towards London Paddington.

 

Despite being on schedule, the work has not been without its challenges. These have included the discovery that some ‘catch pits’ – part of the railway’s drainage system – in the tunnels had deteriorated to a greater extent than expected. As a result the team has widened the scope of the electrification project to ensure those affected are replaced.

 

Andy Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England, said: “The first week of this complex project has gone well, with all our initial milestones completed on time despite some unexpected challenges.

 

“This section of track was last renewed in the 1970s, so we knew we could encounter extra work as we went along. We’ve made sure we give ourselves just enough contingency in our plans to deal with the unknowns which often crop up when working on ageing sections of the railway.”

To complete the work by 1 September there are timetable changes and in some cases replacement bus services running to and from Bath over the six-week duration of the project. Passengers are therefore advised to check rail websites for travel information if their journeys involve passing through this area.

 

Andy continued: “Bath remains open for business, albeit your journey may take longer than usual.
“I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but please bear with us while we carry out this work to provide a better travelling experience for passengers in the future.”

 

Source:- Network Rail

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