A range of advanced engineering techniques slashed the need for trains to run at reduced speeds after planned works this Christmas, Network Rail has revealed.
The body said a renewed focus on precision allowed services to run at speeds of up to 200km/h immediately after major works were completed.
This reduced passenger disruption and saved more than £500,000 in payments to operating companies.
Network Rail carried out £150M of work over the festive period, with 20,000 people taking part in more than 500 projects.
The body said in a statement: “Track monitoring and installation practices have improved significantly in the last few years.
“The key to achieving a high speed handback is to ensure track is installed at each stage to its specific design tolerances, that care is taken while tamping to get the track to its final exact co-ordinates and that welding and stressing is completed as part of the core works where sufficient access is available, rather than scheduled for a later date.”
Engineering techniques used to assist high speed handback included:
- Three-dimensional dozing and excavation to get the bottom stone right first time to absolute design co-ordinates
- Improved consolidation of ballast through dynamic track stabilisation and Variomatic Bomag rollers to deliver measured, uniform consolidation
- Placing the track panels to their absolute design position using GPS - rather than a tape measure