Posts Tagged ‘railways’

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Four-week line closure brings benefits of electrification closer

Posted on Thursday 5th October 2017 at 9:10 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of new signalling gantry being installed at Bristol Parkway.

Upgrade work on the Great Western main railway line, which necessitated the closure of a section of the route for four weeks and the closure of Bristol Parkway Station for the final two weeks of that period, was successfully completed by Network Rail in mid-September, marking another major milestone in the delivery of the Great Western modernisation programme.

The line re-opened as planned on the morning of Saturday 16th September following an extensive programme of work, which took place over a 28-mile stretch of railway between Swindon and Bristol Parkway, bringing GWR’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains another step closer for passengers.

These brand new trains will deliver more than a fifth more seats per train and more frequent services for passengers when they are introduced this autumn.

Almost 5,000 members of Network Rail’s orange army put in more than 175,000 working hours throughout the four weeks of work, which involved the use of 14,000 tonnes of ballast, approximately 2,600 concrete sleepers, 106km of wires and more than 500 foundations for electrification.

Work to improve reliability and increase capacity has taken place at Bristol Parkway Station, including track renewals and signalling upgrades. Further vital upgrades to accommodate the new trains took place as the extension of three platforms and the construction of a fourth platform at the station got underway, due for completion at the end of this year.

Also, as part of this programme of work, electrification of the Chipping Sodbury Tunnel was completed with more than 8km of conductor rail and approximately 1,100 anchors drilled into the Victorian tunnel to support the electrification infrastructure.

This series of work has also enabled the first phase of the resilience scheme at a flood-prone area in Chipping Sodbury to be completed as part of the Department for Transport’s Flood Resilience Programme.

More: Service alterations during October 2017 as upgrade continues »

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Four-week railway closure from mid-August

Posted on Monday 10th July 2017 at 7:03 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of railway electrification work.

Residents and railway users living in north Bristol are invited to find out more about the next stage in a crucial upgrade of the Great Western mainline.

Poster advertising the Network Rail drop-in session.

Network Rail is hosting a drop-in session in Stoke Gifford on Tuesday 11th July ahead of a four-week programme of work which will take place from Royal Wootton Bassett through to Bristol Parkway between Saturday 19th August and Friday 15th September.

The upgrade will also make way for the arrival of a fleet of new, longer Intercity Express Trains later this year, bringing more seats per train and adding greater comfort for passengers. These trains will run on electric from December 2018, once the electrification project is complete.

As part of the work, sections of the mainline will be closed to passengers during this period, with Bristol Parkway also closed between 2nd and 15th September. This will allow work to begin on a new platform at Bristol Parkway as well as the extension of existing platforms at the station.

Elsewhere, flood resilience measures will be installed at Chipping Sodbury and overhead line equipment installed on 25 miles of the route in readiness for electrification.

Over the four weeks, trains will still be running using diversionary routes. Rail replacement bus and coach services will be in place for some journeys.

Many high-speed services will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway and replacement buses will run between the two stations.

Rail travellers are advised to plan ahead by visiting gwr.com/bristolparkway2017 or crosscountrytrains.co.uk

Where to find more information »

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Parkway Station railway upgrade work moves to next phase

Posted on Saturday 22nd April 2017 at 11:24 pm by SH (Editor)

Platforms at Bristol Parkway Station.

Network Rail has revealed further details about work it will soon be carrying out in and around Parkway Station, as part of the project to electrify the Great Western Mainline between London and South Wales.

The next phase of the work will include:

  • Stabilising the embankment next to the Filton line, known as the Filton East Curve
  • Setting up a compound at the Ashfield Land site, off Hunts Ground Road
  • Carrying out repairs and track work at the Hatchet Road bridge

The embankment work is due to start in April 2017 and finish in August 2017. Most of the work will take place during the daytime between 8am and 7pm. However, due to the constraints of the location, some work will need to be carried out at night. Network Rail says it will write again to those living closest to the line with further details before the work begins.

The main compound for the electrification work in the area will be at the Ashfield Land site, off Hunts Ground Road, which will be used to store materials, and provide parking and welfare facilities for staff. Network Rail is currently setting up the compound, which is expected to be in use until February 2018.

The workforce will be taken by bus from Hunts Ground Road to another compound on New Road, from where they will access the railway.

The New Road compound was expected to be in use for occasional deliveries and to allow intermittent access to the railway during March 2017 after which it will be fully operational until 17th November 2017.

The brick arch structure of the Hatchet Road bridge will undergo repairs and reinforcement works as well as track level works. This work is planned from June 2017 to August 2017, and will involve three road closures on Saturday nights, from approximately 10pm to 7am (dates to be confirmed).

More: Track works will include renewing 2.5km of railway line »

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Hitachi to create 150 jobs at new train depot in Stoke Gifford

Posted on Monday 20th March 2017 at 9:50 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of an Hitachi Intercity Express (ICE) train inside the Stoke Gifford service depot.

Japanese firm Hitachi is creating 150 jobs at its newly built train service depot in Stoke Gifford.

The £80m facility, near Bristol Parkway Station, will maintain the new Intercity Express (ICE) trains which will run on the Great Western route.

Recruitment for the 150 jobs is starting now to ensure the facility is ready ahead of arrival of the new trains, which will connect London to Wales and the South West of England, entering service later this year.

Work carried out at the Stoke Gifford depot will include readying trains for passenger services. Whilst housed at the depot, trains will be serviced to ensure they are in good condition, safe and clean. Day to day tasks will include engine tests, changing wheel sets and running thorough inspections of the trains.

The new trains offer a step change in passenger experience with more seats available and modern technology.

The first wave of the new trains to be introduced on passenger services is being built at Hitachi Rail Europe’s (HRE’s) UK train manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The new roles are permanent and require people with a wide range of experiences and backgrounds. As part of bringing new skills and talents into the industry, steps are being taken to attract people who have not previously worked in rail. HRE is looking to recruit from a variety of sectors such as aviation, automotive, and the military, as well as those groups often under-represented in rail such as women and young people. HRE will provide extensive training to ensure new employees meet the high standards long associated with the Hitachi brand.

More: Depot will recruit four new apprentices every year »

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