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Railhub Archive
1997-02-20 RTK-003
Railtrack plc


Railtrack announces East Anglia investment bonanza

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack announces East Anglia investment bonanza

20 February 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

note [[figures illegible in originating copy]]

Major investment in East Anglia's rail network over the next 10 years will see rail travellers benefiting from a number of investment projects which will result in more reliable, and in some instances, faster, rail services.

Publishing its Network Management Statement today, Railtrack has announced that it will be spending over ?million every day for the next 10 years on Britain's rail infrastructure to create a railway "second to none".

The Ipswich-Felixstowe line will be getting a ?million modernisation. Railtrack is to invest in high-tech signalling and changes to track, which will improve the line's reliability and allow more trains to use the 15 mile route. The present out-dated signalling equipment is prone to breakdowns and is difficult and time-consuming to maintain. The new system will use the latest fibre optic technology and will provide travellers with a very reliable train service. When complete the line will be able to accommodate an all-day hourly passenger service and will allow extra freight trains to use the route.

Plans to modernise the West Anglia line between Bethnal Green and Kings Lynn have recently been announced. Railtrack has commissioned a study into the route to decide how best to update the line. The study is looking at signalling, overhead power lines and track, and engineers have been asked to come up with ways in which new equipment can be installed with the least possible disruption to rail travellers.

The study will also look at ways in which the capacity of the line can be increased and journey times reduced. Work is expected to start on site in 1999 and take two to three years to complete.

The Great Eastern line's resignalling project will be finished in October this year. The new signalling system is being installed between Liverpool Street and Colchester, including lines to Southend, Southminster, Braintree and Sudbury, and will all be controlled by the high-tech signalling centre at Liverpool Street. Included in the project are improvements to junctions and crossovers, which will ultimately increase linespeeds. 'Bi-directional' signalling north of Shenfield will allow trains to be diverted onto the opposite line, dramatically speeding up operations when one line is blocked.

Driver to signaller radio communications are being extended to cover four new locations in the region. Train drivers and signallers will soon be able to communicate via a direct radio link on the London Tilbury and Southend line, and on the lines between Colchester and Ipswich, Colchester and Clacton/Walton-on-the-Naze, and between Manningtree and Harwich.

As well as these major projects, Railtrack is also investing heavily in renewing the rail infrastructure. In East Anglia alone, ? million will be spent during the coming year on new track, ? million on rebuilding bridges and ? million on renewing overhead power lines. This is on top of the ? million that will be spent on day to day maintenance in the region.

Around ? million will be spent on improving the region's stations and depots. Every station in the country had an in-depth survey, and work is scheduled over the next five years to bring them up to standard. The work includes repairs to buildings, roofs and footbridges. Included in this year's plan are Braintree, Harlow Town, Tilbury Town and Norwich.

Announcing the proposals, Railtrack East Anglia director Michael Holden said:- "This is excellent news for commuters and rail travellers. As well as making the railway more reliable, some of these projects will ultimately lead to shorter journey times."

"Organising work so that it causes the least disturbance to travellers is going to be one of our main priorities. Engineers will be looking particularly at ways of installing equipment that will cause the minimum of disruption, particularly on our large new projects like the West Anglia and Felixstowe modernisations."

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-02-20 RTK-003


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