It is not only the West Coast Main Line that is getting upgraded this summer. On the East Coast Main Line in Allington near Grantham a new £12M railway chord is under construction.
The chord will link the Grantham to Allington Junction and Nottingham to Skegness lines.
The Nottingham to Skegness line is carried under the East Coast Main Line (ECML) but trains travelling to and from Grantham have to use the ECML to get onto the railway to Skegness.
The new chord will allow access to the Nottingham to Skegness line earlier, bypassing the ECML (see diagram).
Contractor Carillion has been on site since April and earthworks for the new railway embankments are 30% complete. The embankments will carry the track over a length of 450m and vary in height from 2.5m to 5.5m.
The crest of the embankments is 11m wide, providing room for the twin track railway line.
A check rail will be installed alongside the track because the 180m radius is 'quite tight', explains Network Rail project manager Steve Poole.
Construction of the new chord will be completed by September 2004 but it will be allowed time to settle and consolidate before the new junctions are constructed in March 2005. Only when the new chord is operational in October 2005 will the existing track be removed. All work should be complete by December 2005.