Network Rail celebrates successful Easter work programme

Twitter was awash first thing on Tuesday morning with news from Network Rail that Easter works at various sites around the country had been completed on time and that trains on the first day back at work for many after the long weekend, were running on time.

Network Rail Easter works - Orphanage road bridge, Watford

It was a very festival of good news and Network Rail was clearly extremely happy that after the horrors of the Christmas overruns, its planning, logistics and site operations had delivered efficiently.

Chief executive Mark Carne and managing director for infrastructure projects  Francis Paonessa’s decision to be on hand during the £100M of investment work that was undertaken over the holiday period seems to have changed Network Rail’s luck and they are likely, like haresfeet, to be required for all future work programmes.

New station facilities, new platforms, new junctions and thousands of pieces of new, more reliable equipment were built and brought into use by Network Rail this Easter. And more than 14,000 men and women worked round-the-clock across hundreds of locations over the  four-day Easter weekend, the rail operator reported.

 “Our 14,000-strong army were determined to make sure everything went to plan this weekend and I’m proud to say it did. I’d like to thank people for their patience as I know our work caused some planned disruption,” Carne said.

“The improvements made this weekend are a vital part of our £38bn investment programme which will deliver a better railway in the weeks, months and years ahead."

But he warned: “That job is far from over. Our orange army will be out tonight and every night carrying out work that’s essential to improving our increasingly congested network and providing better journeys for the four and a half million people who rely on our network each day.”

The major investment schemes successfully completed this Easter included:

  • London Bridge: Ongoing work to completely rebuild the station saw improvements to track, signalling and platforms – part of the £6.5bn Thameslink Programme to transform north-south travel to and through London.
  • Reading: New freight lines were built under the recently constructed Reading viaduct, separating passenger and freight services and enabling smoother, faster journeys to and through Reading. A new, modern signalling system has also been brought into use to replace outdated and unreliable equipment.
  • Watford: A rail-over-road bridge south of Watford Junction station was demolished and a new one installed which will enable line speeds to be increased through the area. As part of the wider £81M upgrade scheme, the team also replaced old track, signalling and junctions.
  • London Liverpool Street: Essential improvements to provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers on the line from London Liverpool Street to Norwich took place over Easter. New overhead lines were installed at Chadwell Heath, Romford and Ilford on the main line.



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