The Chiltern Main Line has reopened on time after Network Rail completed two days of upgrade work near Banbury on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
More than 200 engineers were out in force working to improve the layout of the track on the approach to Banbury station to help provide a more reliable service to passengers. The work is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan and also includes new, modern and more reliable signalling in the area and a new depot to be used by Chiltern Railways. The £76 million project will be completed by August 2016 and will improve the reliability and flexibility of trains running through the area.
Liam Sumpter, area director for Network Rail, said: “This work was carefully planned and safely delivered to cause no disruption to passengers, taking place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when no trains would have run.
“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is consistently delivering improvements and this Christmas has been no different with thousands of the orange army working around the network to maintain and upgrade the railway to meet the demands of the millions of passengers who travel by train every day.”
A nine-day closure of the railway in the Banbury area is planned to take place next summer, the dates of which will be finalised in the New Year. This will allow Network Rail to complete the work and bring the upgraded and improved railway into use.
Sumpter said: “The nine-day closure this summer is essential to bring all of the work together and into use. We continue to work closely with Chiltern Railways to plan for the work and will be providing information and advice in the coming months.”
- For more on the Christmas engineering work, read RAIL 792, published on January 20.