Information published on 14 April 2015 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 444.

United Kingdom: Better journeys for passengers after successful Easter rail upgrade work

  • News from UIC members

Hundreds of thousands of passengers and freight users are benefitting today after more than £100m of investment and improvement work was completed successfully – on time and on budget – across Britain’s railways over the Easter period.

New station facilities, new platforms, new junctions and thousands of pieces of new, more reliable equipment have been built and brought into use. More than 14,000 men and women worked round-the-clock across hundreds of locations over the four-day Easter weekend.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said: “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. 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. That job is far from over. Our orange army will be out tonight and every night carrying out work that is 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 include:

  • 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 A new, modern signalling system has also been brought into use to replace outdated and unreliable equipment.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.

(Source: Network Rail)