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Major Easter works completed


14,000 Network Rail staff working over Bank Holiday weekend

Network Rail carried out a significant programme of improvements over the Easter weekend, which saw over 14,000 workers in action at hundreds of locations during the four-day period. The company said the work was successfully completed on time and on budget.

One major focus was the Great Western route, with the installation of new freight lines at Reading marking a further milestone in the significant upgrade to the station area, helping eliminate conflicts with passenger services. Also completed was resignalling work at Slough, while work to install new track and signalling equipment on the relief lines between Didcot and Reading continued through the following week.

On the West Coast main line, work at Watford saw the replacement of Orphanage Road bridge to the south of Watford Junction station as well as track renewals and commissioning of a new junction. NR says a further two closures are planned in the area in February 2016.

Work in the London Bridge area as part of the Thameslink programme saw track relaid and moved, signals replaced and new equipment installed between Waterloo East and Bermondsey.

Meanwhile, upgrades to overhead lines were carried out at Chadwell Heath, Romford and Ilford on the Great Eastern main line as part of preparations for Crossrail. The track layout at Brentwood was also upgraded, while bridge survey works were carried out on a number of structures between Ely and Peterborough and on the East Suffolk lines from Ipswich to Felixstowe and Saxmundham in preparation for strengthening work.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: ‘Our 14,000-strong army were determined to make sure everything went to plan this weekend and I’m proud to say it did. I’d like to thank people for their patience as I know our work caused some planned disruption.’

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