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Railhub Archive
2003-12-23 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Hold the tinsel and turkey - Xmas rail engineering works

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Department for Transport

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Department for Transport

Hold the tinsel and turkey - Xmas rail engineering works

23 Dec 2003 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Transport Minister Kim Howells will today meet the workers forfeiting Christmas to upgrade key rail lines across the country.

There will be work to repair and renew lines in over 100 locations across the network. The Minister will inspect preparations for just one of these at Clapham Junction where Network Rail will replace a 140 year old bridge crossed by thousands of trains every day.

Kim Howells said

"Whilst the rest of us are tucking in to our turkey, these guys and thousands like them across the country, will be working around the clock to modernise our railways. They are the heroes that keep the system running.

"Problems can cause immense delays and frustration for passengers. There's no easy time to do engineering work on this scale but it's absolutely vital and they've planned it for the Christmas break to cause the least disruption possible for passengers.

"If you are planning to travel over Christmas, then check with operators to confirm arrangements. In areas where work is set to continue beyond Boxing Day journeys may take longer than normal, but passengers will certainly feel the long term benefits."

For services affected beyond Boxing Day, alternative travel arrangements have been put in place. Passengers should call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 for further information.

Notes to Editors
1. The railway network will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (apart from the airport services to Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Express) During this time Network Rail will take advantage of this two-day closure to work intensively on the railways. Some of the largest engineering works include:

- New rail bridges at Portrack (Dumfries) to be completed - Track renewals at Presonpans near Edinburgh
- Removal of disused rail bridge at Manchester Piccadilly - Replacment of the bridge deck at Bowesfield Lane, Stockton - River Meece rail bridge replacement near Stafford
- Maintenance and renewal work on the Chiltern and Midland lines - Station works at Wolverhampton
- Tracks renewals between Diss and Norwich
- Points replacment on the North London line
- Replacing a flyover at Ilford, Essex
- Track work at Redhill Junction and between Didcot and Oxford - Bridge and track work between Wovercot and Heyford
- Bridge work at Luxulyan near Par

2. The principle works outside the traditional two-day period are: - Sussex Coast main lines closed (at Clapham Junction), Thurs 25 - Sat 27 December (inc);
- Great Western Main Line closed (Taunton-Tiverton), Thurs 25 - Tue 30 December;
- West Coast Main Line closed (Stockport-Manchester), Thurs 25 - Tue 30 December (inc);
- West Coast Main Line closed (Stafford - Crewe): Now - Thurs 1 January (inc);
- East Coast Main Line closed (at Welwyn Garden City), Thurs 25 - Sun 28 December (inc);
- Hull Trains services. Local WAGN services also affected with some bus substitution in operation.

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website:

Railhub Archive ::: 2003-12-23 DfT-001


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