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Published on : Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Rail passengers can look forward to better journeys as Network Rail’s work to improve and upgrade the railway continues over the spring bank holiday weekend . Engineers will be working around the clock to carry out improvements to the rail depot at Hornsey as part of a project to provide more rail connections into the depot ready for new trains that Great Northern is introducing. It is part of the Thameslink Programme transforming north-south travel through London and improving connections to give passengers better travel options to more destinations.
The work means that Great Northern services are significantly reduced or suspended over the weekend. There are also changes to long distance services, although Network Rail has worked with operators to make sure that Hull City fans that are travelling to Wembley on Saturday have the best possible options for travel.
Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director for Network Rail said: “The investment taking place at Hornsey depot this bank holiday is a crucial piece of our Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers. This work takes us a step closer to being able to support cross-London services, meaning big time savings for passengers as part of the Thameslink Programme.
“While there is never a good time to carry out disruptive work like this, bank holidays are a time when significantly fewer passengers travel and I would like to thank people for their patience while this crucial work is carried out.”
The improvements include major signalling alterations, installation of a buffer stop and overhead electrification work. There is also extensive testing to be done to make sure trains can travel safely into and out of the depot.
Great Northern Passenger Service Director Keith Jipps said: “This bank holiday engineering work by Network Rail is an essential part of the programme to upgrade our railway for the benefit of passengers, now and into the future.
“The new trains we’re introducing are part of the government-sponsored Thameslink Programme. They will replace a large number of our trains that are over 25 years old and offer improved reliability of service and space within the train along with audio and visual customer information systems.
“Over the next three years all our trains on the Great Northern will be either replaced by new and more modern units or undergo major overhauls. This will move us from having one of the oldest fleets in the country, to one of the youngest – a major improvement for passengers.
“From 2018 these trains will give passengers on the main line from Peterborough and Cambridge direct services across central London to London Bridge, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport and beyond. A Cambridge passenger, for example, will be able to reach Gatwick Airport up to half an hour faster than today without changing trains or travelling on the Underground.”