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BETTER CONNECTION: The first of the major civils projects under the Passenger Upgrade 2 agreement will not be put out to tender until late next year, with those jobs requiring Transport & Works Act orders following later on. But in the mean time Railtrack is still contractually committed to completing its PUG 1 improvements by May 2002.

'There are certain works which we have to press on with to take advantages of the possessions agreed with the train operating companies,' says Cruddas.

The first of these will be the re-modelling of the Euston to Primrose Hill section of the route which is currently out to tender. Over the next two and a half years the track will be completely renewed and a new junction created to increase capacity. This will allow the northbound North London Line to connect directly on to the northbound slow line, thus removing the existing conflict.

Re-modelling work is also being tendered for the Wilmslow to Manchester Piccadilly section of the route to reduce the number of conflicts between train movements and improve access to platforms 9, 10 and 11. In addition Railtrack has committed £27M for re-roofing and lighting improvements at the station ahead of a major redevelopment programme.

A further scheme at the major Proof House junction in Birmingham is still at the feasibility stage but is likely to go out to tender at the end of the year. The work will connect the Aston and Derby lines, removing the current overlap with the Coventry route, planned for the summer of 2000 .

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