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Railhub Archive
1997-02-20 RTK-006
Railtrack plc


Railtrack announces plans for South East investment bonanza

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Railtrack plc

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack announces plans for South East investment bonanza

20 February 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

Substantial investment over the next 10 years for South East rail travellers is featured in Railtrack's Network Management Statement published today.

The planned investment bonanza includes major signalling schemes, improved station facilities and major infrastructure work to the track, part of Railtrack's proposed £4 million pounds a day for 10 years improvement package.

Railtrack Southern Director, Chris Jago said: "The statement is a reaffirmation of the commitment held by Railtrack to bring the areaÕs infrastructure to a standard which will restore public confidence in rail travel. The statement in itself is not the full story, however, as there are many day to day jobs of renewal and repair planned which, although not grabbing the headlines, are equally as important to the railway and its local users."

An example of these involve the renewal of 200km of rail, 240km of ballast, 240km of sleepers and 40 bridge spans.

As part of the high profile investment plans there are five major resignalling schemes, valued at over £25 million each and covering 350 route kilometres:

Woking - Surbiton - currently ongoing and planned for completion in 1997/98, it is aimed at increasing capacity on the fast lines and improving performance and capacity. The scheme covers 55 route kilometres and is priced £70 million.
Basingstoke - covering 100 route kilometres, the £35 million work involves renewal of signalling and the life extension of equipment. Together with some rationalisation work at Basingstoke the project will meet contracted and projected traffic flows with greater efficiency.
Dartford - a £40 million signalling renewal project with changes to track layout covering 55 route kilometres allowing eventual operation of 12 car trains. The opportunity may also be taken to carry out additional track rationalisation to improve efficiency.
Dorset Coast - a scheme currently being evaluated and covering 80 route kilometres to either renew or extend the life of existing signalling. The rationalisation of signalling, level crossing control and layout improvements would lead to increased line speeds. The project is currently assessed at £30 million.
Feltham - a £40 million renewal or life extension of signalling equipment, level crossing control and improvements to layout to allow capacity changes and line speed improvements. Like the Dorset coast scheme this is currently being evaluated.
"These five schemes alone will account for £215 million of investment in the infrastructure and when completed will spell good news for the areas they serve and the communities who live there," said Mr Jago.

The resignalling schemes at Guildford and Portsmouth, and those between Farncombe and Havant and between Gillingham and Honiton, shown in last year's statement, are retained, with each scheme now forecast to cost £25 million or less.

The need for other schemes inherited from British Rail, including Dorking to Littlehampton, Hastings to Eastbourne, Rochester to Faversham, Strood to Paddock Wood and the East Kent routes have been reviewed in the light of condition assessments. The renewal needs of these areas will now be dealt with under the routine signalling renewal programme.

The Network Management Statement also has good news for stations in its Southern Zone. The work detailed varies considerably across the country and altogether 2,360 stations will receive attention in the next few years, including 49 stations at a cost of more than £1 million. It is the intention that all 606 stations in the zone will receive attention with 390 planned for the next three years.

In the southern area Waterloo station will receive a projected £40 million facelift which will see extensive works to platform roofs, platforms, the concourse and general structure. The precise scope of the work is being assessed for integration into future commercial opportunities which will, to some degree, dictate the timescale for the work to be under taken.

Also being addressed in the future is the facelift of Brighton station at a cost of £18 million. The work being planned will include extensive repairs to the roof, structural work and platform repairs. Bournemouth station is also in line for renewal work with at least £2 million earmarked for the roof and other structures. The exact scope of the work is still being discussed with the Train Operating Company who lease the station.

"The Station environment colours the experience of nearly every rail traveller and for many the condition of their local station and the magnificent large terminus stations will be the litmus test of our stewardship of the railway infrastructure. We want that judgement to be positive and it is our intention to improve radically the quality of our stations," said Mr Jago.

In addition to the resignalling and station work the Network Management Statement also highlights Railtrack's commitment to other enhancements.

The £580 million Thameslink project, for which Railtrack will soon be seeking powers under the Transport and Works Act, will significantly expand capacity on the present Thameslink route. Benefits will include new journey opportunities across the south east and reduce journey times from destinations in the north and south of London, connecting towns as far apart as Kings Lynn and Peterborough to Brighton, Littlehampton and the Kent Coast by direct route for the first time.

The £20 million Millennium project to replace the Hungerford Bridge footbridge over the Thames is also featured as is the completion of the refurbishment of Ouse Valley Viaduct.

"The spending plans outlined in the Network Management Statement are good news for the South of England and good news for Railtrack and its contractors," said Mr. Jago. "It means that, at last, the railway can plan, control and implement work in a way it was denied in the past."

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-02-20 RTK-006


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