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Government announces £16M investment in third rail heating

Transport secretary Justine Greening announced today a £16M investment in third rail heating as part of a £38M programme to make sure the rail network is better prepared for severe bad weather this winter.

One of the lessons learnt after three successive severe winters was the need to increase the resilience of the railway to heavy snow, particularly on routes relying on the third rail.

The government is funding an extensive rolling programme to install third rail heating being carried out by Network Rail across London and the South East.

The programme, part of the infrastructure improvements plan announced in chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, will cover 421 sites where trains require most traction across the Kent, Sussex and Wessex routes.

Equipment has already been installed at about 85% of the locations and is due to be in place at the remaining sites by January 2012.

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