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Trains Running Again Following Major Engineering Works

Published on: 20 Apr, 2020
Updated on: 21 Apr, 2020

Network Rail has completed its major engineering works to the north of Guildford railway station that closed the line to most trains between April 10 and 20.

A train on the Reading / Ascot line approaches Guildford railway station running on a section of new track. All pictures taken from ‘Yorkie’s Bridge’.

It has also been working to regrade the embankment and strengthened the rock face around St Catherine’s Tunnel, south of Guildford railway station, the scene of two landslips last year.

The pictures here, taken from ‘Yorkie’s Bridge’ on late Monday afternoon, April 20, clearly show the new ballast where replacement rails have been laid.

Dust from the new ballast can be seen behind the train as it enters Guildford railway station.

In its latest Wessex Route Monthly Newsletter, issued on April 20, Network Rail gives the following details of the work it has completed.

“We are delighted to confirm the railway was handed back on time this morning after the biggest rail investment in almost four decades in the Guildford area.

“Work took place around the clock from Friday, April 10, to Monday, April 20, with teams delivering the following upgrades:

New track, ballast and track circuits.

“Upgraded 41 track circuits around Guildford station.

“Renewed 1,500 metres of track on the lines between Guildford and Wanborough, plus Guildford and Worplesdon.

“Installed 1,200 metres of conductor rail between Guildford and Clandon.

“Renewed rails and the supporting wheel-timbers on the bridge crossing the River Wey between Farncombe and Godalming.

“Carried out tamping in the Witley area.

“Painted the footbridge at Guildford station and installed anti-slip tiles.

“The embankment and rock face regrading work at St Catherine’s tunnel, between Guildford and Shalford, also allowed engineers to remove a speed restriction, imposed following two landslips during extreme weather in late 2019, which will result in more reliable journeys for passengers.

“The project was carefully planned over the course of two years to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum and opportunities to improve the railway were taken wherever possible.

“A total of 20,000 hours were worked by teams during the project, demonstrating the sheer scale of the operation (18 engineering trains, two Kirow cranes, two tampers and two road rail vehicles were used in the switches and crosses renewal alone).

“The completed work will provide a more reliable railway for trains between London and Guildford, Woking and Portsmouth, Reading and Redhill, and Guildford and Alton. There will be some follow-up weekends of work on April 25 to 26, May 16 and 17, July 5, and August 2.”

The train on the left leaves Guildford for London Waterloo on the main line, while the train on the right is taking the ‘new line’ via Cobham for the same destination.

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test One Response to Trains Running Again Following Major Engineering Works

  1. David Wragg Reply

    April 21, 2020 at 12:50 pm

    So, despite the shutdown, there will be further weekend disruption, especially unwelcome if lockdown ends and people start to take holidays or go on day trips. Network Rail is divorced from the realities and economics of transport operation.

    In any case, what is needed is a new junction at Woking so that Portsmouth ‘up’ trains (that is headed for London) are not delayed by Alton, Southampton and Exeter ‘down’ trains.

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