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Engineers have decided to stick with original plans to replace the seven year old roller bearings on the M6 Thelwall Viaduct with spherical sliders. Analysis by managing agent Atkins of the structure's behaviour proved that replacement roller bearings would not be needed (see News last week). The contract to replace the remaining bearings will be let at the end of July. So far 37 bearings of the total 136 rollers have failed.

The rail network is so overstretched that in order to make trains run to schedule it will be necessary to remove some services and increase the intervals between others, the Strategic Rail Authority said this week. The SRA's new 'Network Utilisation Strategy' reports that when the network is at above 75% capacity train punctuality declines.

The SRA has also published a West Coast Strategy which identifies scope for greater passenger and freight capacity on high speed routes. Typical journey times between London and Glasgow will be reduced by one hour.

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