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Published on : Thursday, November 21, 2013
New platforms, new lifts, new information systems, new concourses, new footbridges, new track; all have featured as record investment has been ploughed into the railway in the Thames Valley over the past six months.
Network Rail today published its half-year results (for the period 1 April to 31 October 2013) which revealed that £2.74bn was invested across Britain in improving and building a bigger, better railway – up 33% on the same period last year and 53% higher than just four years ago.
On Network Rail’s Western route, which takes in the Great Western main line from London to the west of England and branches to Oxford and Newbury, £342m was invested for the same period, equal to almost £2m a day. This figure includes the completion of major milestones on the Reading station redevelopment, preparatory work ready for electrification of the Great Western main line and a number of station enhancements.
This year, Reading station opened a new concourse and four new platforms as part of a £895m rebuild of the station and the unblocking of one of Britain’s worst railway bottlenecks, improving performance and providing more capacity for passengers.
Patrick Hallgate, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “The railway in the Thames Valley and beyond continues to experience tremendous growth and we are responding to that demand through the biggest sustained investment programme since Victorian times.
“With a million more trains and half a billion more passengers than 10 years ago, Britain’s railways are all but full. We are squeezing all we can out of the existing network and the railway must improve and grow to deliver the step-change in capacity that Britain’s vital rail arteries need.”
As Network Rail works to modernise the Great Western main line, over the past six months some significant investment milestones have been reached, including:
Preparatory work has begun to electrify 235 miles of railway line between London, Oxford, Newbury, Bristol and Cardiff
As part of Network Rail’s £2.3bn Crossrail programme, surface work was completed between Paddington and Maidenhead, including the reopening of four new bridges, major civils work on Stockley flyover, excavation of the Acton diveunder has begun and track works at Maidenhead has also commenced
Work to re-establish strategic rail links between Oxford and Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury as part of the £500m East West Rail programme has begun
Station improvement work has been carried out and completed at 25 stations in the Thames Valley over the last four years, accounting to over £16m of investment, including the installation of footbridges, customer information screens, cycle storage and lift renewals
As well as these major milestones over 5,000 projects have been completed nationally over the last four and a half years (since the start of our current funding period called CP4 – 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2014). These smaller, but just as important, projects are aimed at making incremental improvements to the railway for the benefit of passengers and have seen:
Over the six months to 31 October:
Source:- Network Rail