More than 30 miles of track renewals improve reliability of Anglia’s rail network

Photo: Network Rail

Network Rail has replaced 36 miles of track across the rail network in the last 12 months to drive down delays for passengers in Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

Over the last year Network Rail has renewed track at the following locations:

  • Between Stansted and Broxbourne on the West Anglia Main Line
  • At Littleport between Ely and Kings Lynn
  • At Harwich on the Harwich branch line
  • Between Norwich and Ipswich, at Colchester and at Maryland on the Great Eastern Main Line
  • At Billericay on the Southend Victoria branch line
  • At Somerleyton between Norwich and Lowestoft
  • At Brampton on the East Suffolk Line
  • Between Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds

The work also includes the replacement or refurbishment of 38 switches and crossings units, the large pieces of track that allow trains to move from one track to another. These are essential when issues occur, to enable trains to be diverted to reduce the number of delays.

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Photo: Network Rail

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In addition to this, 20 level crossings were also renewed to maintain reliability and safety of both rail and road users and pedestrians. This includes renewing the rail and the level crossing deck where trains and vehicles pass over.

Keeping the track in good condition is essential for the safe and reliable running of rail services. The busier the network, the more worn track becomes over time. Engineers keep on top of repairs and maintenance throughout the year but eventually sections of track need to be replaced, just like when roads need resurfacing.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We’re committed to improving the reliability of rail services for passengers in Anglia and keeping the track in good condition is essential to keep trains running on time around the region. Throughout the last 12 months we have delivered a huge amount of track renewal work, despite the challenges of the pandemic, to drive down delays and deliver a more reliable service across the network.”

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Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “Over the past year, punctuality across our network has been at an all-time high, with almost 95% of trains running on time.

Photo: Network Rail

“There are several contributing factors, including the positive impact of our new trains, but another key factor has been the ongoing programme of rail infrastructure improvements being delivered by Network Rail, which have been carried out under very difficult conditions as the country weathered the pandemic.

 “We know how important it is to our customers that our trains run on time, which is why we started a concerted punctuality drive jointly with Network Rail in 2018, focusing on all areas of railway operations, to improve the reliability and punctuality of our service. We’re really pleased that our joint efforts are succeeding and we are working hard to maintain these good results as people return to the railway.”

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To find out more about track renewal work in the Anglia region go to www.networkrail.co.uk/anglia-track-renewals

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Shannon Butcher

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