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WCML reopens following Stafford upgrade

The West Coast Main Line near Stafford has reopened on time after Network Rail completed four days of upgrade work to track and bridges over Christmas. 

Engineers laid track as part of a £250 million project to upgrade the WCML through Stafford.

Two bridges carrying the railway over local waterways were also replaced as part of NR's Railway Upgrade Plan. 

The trackwork this Christmas is vital to help bring a new railway flyover into use at Easter 2016, which will remove a bottleneck on the main route between England and Scotland and provide passengers with a more reliable railway.

Mark Killick, area director for Network Rail, said: “This work is part of a £250m programme of rail investment to help improve performance and reliability of the West Coast Main Line. It was carefully planned and safely delivered to cause the least disruption to passengers, with work taking place on Christmas Day and Boxing Day when no trains would have run and over the Christmas bank holiday when fewer people use the railway.

“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is consistently delivering improvements and this Christmas has been no different with thousands of the orange army working across the network to maintain and upgrade the railway to meet the demands of the millions of passengers who travel by train every day.”   

  • For much more on the Christmas engineering projects on the railway over Christmas, read RAIL 793, published on January 20.

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 29/12/2015 18:52

    What about Network Rail to upgrade some of the key junctions on the ECML including building a new flyover at Colton Junction where the ECML meets with the 4-track North Pennine lines with a new flyover to be built for Northbound trains heading to Scotland as well to York, Newcastle and Sunderland freeing up the 4 tracks for First TPE and Northern Rail trains and freight trains that seperates near Leeds. And also improving Helpton Junction north of Peterborough with a possible flyover for the Peterborough-Nottingham and Stamford line as it seperates from the ECML. Doncaster North Junction is already been improved with a new freight link being built crossing over the ECML north of Doncaster. And Hitchin Flyover in Hitchin, Hertfordshire which has been built that crosses over the ECML for Great Northern trains to cross over the ECML heading towards Cambridge and King's Linn.

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  • BigTone - 30/12/2015 09:28

    Small correction Andrew. North of Peterborough the lines for Stamford and Leicester do not conflict with the ECML. They run to Peterborough on the West side then South of the station they dive under the ECML to go through the former Peterborough East station site and on to East Anglia. I think you mean the line to Spalding where atm the trains for the GN&GE have to cross the ECML on the flat

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 30/12/2015 23:53

      Well no not really. The line that goes from Peterborough to Oakham, Nottingham, Derby and Manchester as I was mentioning about.

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  • DavidB_ - 02/01/2016 11:26

    Andrew. Explain to me why, when use of resources must be prioritised, a flyover should be provided north of Peterborough where few regular services cross on the flat? They are effectively separate lines. Have you ever travelled through the station?

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  • BigTone - 05/01/2016 12:32

    Actually Andrew, you are wrong, the Midland ran parallel to the Great Northern and certainly in 1885, the Midland had their own station just south of Peterborough North. Here's a link http://www.systonandpeterborough.co.uk/index.php?p=1_10_PAGE-8

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  • BigTone - 09/01/2016 12:45

    Peterborough to Nottingham was closed West of Melton Mowbray in 1968 and is now (since the early 1970s) the Old Dalby Test Track. There is Syston North Junction but I think it is only freight (not sure). The best way to get to Nottingham or Manchester is to catch the EMT service from Norwich to Liverpool which turns off the ECML at Grantham.

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