Despite the additional work of clearing up after yet another winter flood-and-storm scenario, railway staff delivered an ambitious and record-breaking programme of upgrades across the network over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Engineers laid new track and ballast, platforms, lifts and footbridges as well as upgrading signalling and electrification equipment.
At more than £100m, the festive investment programme was the biggest ever carried out by Network Rail. Hundreds of engineers from Network Rail and its suppliers worked the equivalent of more than 600,000 hours at over 100 locations across Britain, often in extremely difficult weather conditions.
• New platform, track and signalling equipment at Gatwick Airport station. Around 1300 metres of track was laid. The footbridge was renewed and a new 250 metre long platform installed.
• Peterborough’s new signalling equipment was commissioned, part of a wider project to relieve a major bottleneck on the East Coast Main Line. Engineers made progress on the new track layout and installed longer platforms, station bridges, and new lifts – completion is expected in March.
• Electrification work at Manchester Victoria saw 400m of track lowered and 1300 tonnes of spoil removed to create additional headroom for overhead power lines so electric trains can run from Manchester to Liverpool starting in December.
• At Ipswich a new railway bridge was put in as part of a 1.1km stretch of new railway connecting the East Suffolk Line and Great Eastern Main Line to increase rail capacity to the port of Felixstowe – completion is expected in March.
• Gravesend station underwent a major upgrade and platform extension to cater for 12 car trains.