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More rail services running through Christmas upgrade works

Network Rail has said it is planning to run more trains during the Christmas period than last year, with 10,000 more services operating.

The country’s rail infrastructure manager has said that more than 90% of the rail network will be unaffected by engineering work that will take place in the Christmas break between 24 December and 3 January.

During this period, almost £50M will be spent on upgrading the network, with more than 5,000 workers involved.  Among the biggest bridge is a new bridge span being put in place at Caversham Road in Reading, where four single bridge decks will be replaced with one new 40m long and 17m wide deck. This will provide space for new lines into Reading station to serve four new platforms that will be opened in 2016, as part of the station’s redevelopment.

Work on the £6bn Thameslink project will also continue, primarily at Blackfriars where the station is being expanded. New tracks have been laid along the eastern side of Blackfriars rail bridge, and works at Christmas which will see the current track and signalling along the western side of the rail bridge switched over to connect with the new eastern side track. This will then enable upgrade work to begin on the western side of the rail bridge, strengthening it with new bridge deck and then widening it with three new rows of rib arches to support the creation of new bay platforms to house 12 car trains. This will be completed by the end of 2011.

In Scotland there will be works undertaken near Paisley to install a new crossover at Brown Street near Gilmour Street station. This will create a turn back facility for services to the station.

The full list of work is:

London North Eastern region  

  • Signalling works from Fletton to Helpston junction (Peterborough area)
  • Signalling works from Woolmar Green to Biggleswade (Hitchin area)
  • Structures works from Newark to Doncaster
  • Structures works in Huddersfield and Manchester

Midlands & Continental region

  • Switch & crossing renewals from Cricklewood to Luton
  • Thameslink project works from Blackfriars to Kentish Town

London North Western region

  • Water Orton resignalling works from Birmingham to Tamworth
  • Plain line track renewals from Weaver junction in Wigan to Euxton junction in Preston
  • Maintenance in Stockport & Manchester Piccadilly areas
  • Maintenance and Bletchley resignalling works between Watford and Rugby, and Northampton
  • Construction of a new railway bridge as part of the Highways Agency’s A46 Newark to Widmerpool improvement project. A new bridge will take the railway over the road, affecting trains between Birmingham New Street and Kings Norton
  • Track renewals between Dore and Earles Sidings

Anglia region:

  • Work related to Olympic improvements at Stratford and overhead line work means most train services will terminate at Stratford – affecting the North London line, Liverpool Street station and Ilford

Western region 

  • Newport resignalling works between Severn Tunnel junction and Maindee junction
  • Crossrail and maintenance works between Paddington and Acton West
  • Reading resignalling between Maidenhead and Morton Cutting

South Eastern region

  • Thameslink Project work between New Cross to Hither Green
  • Structures work between Battersea Park junction and Balham
  • Maintenance works between Worting junction and St Denys in the Southampton area


  • Paisley area remodelling works at Arkleston and Johnstone

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