Posted 1st October 2021 | 1 Comment

£25m plan to save weather-battered railway

£25m plan to save weather-battered railway

Details have been published of a £25 million plan to rescue a railway on the Welsh borders which has been blocked by five major landslips in the past two years alone. The line between Newport and Gloucester via Lydney runs alongside the Severn Estuary. Extreme weather has closed the railway repeatedly and delayed more than 200,000 trains. The line not only connects Newport and Gloucester but also provides a vital link for trains travelling between south Wales, the west of England, the midlands and north. As well as passenger services it also sees 43 freight trains a week, which carry steel, petrol, construction materials and food. Work is due to begin next summer and will include the removal of more than 30,000 tonnes of material from the cliff face. A state-of-the-art mesh and bolt system will then be installed along 5km, stabilising the rockface and preventing further landslips. 

Minister sees preparations for Aberdeen-Central Belt improvements

Scottish transport minister Graeme Dey has been seeing progress on the Aberdeen to Central Belt Enhancement Project for himself. He visited Aberdeen yesterday and talked to the engineers on the site, where ground drilling rigs are being used for geological investigations. The data from these will be used to develop the proposals to improve the railway between north east Scotland and the central belt, in a project being funded by the Scottish Government. Mr Dey said: ‘This project is vital for Aberdeen and the wider North East region, so I was delighted to be able to come along to meet the team. It’s great to hear that some of the work including ecology surveys is already underway, given our commitment to decarbonising the passenger railway in Scotland by 2035. I look forward to returning to see the team in the near future.’

Digital upgrade continues this weekend

Network Rail and Great Northern will be continuing a major upgrade project over the weekend, in which the track and signalling are being renewed on the Moorgate line. Trains from suburban Hertfordshire stations will be diverted to King's Cross during tomorrow and Sunday. Major progress was made over the summer on the project to create the first main line digital railway in Britain, and Great Northern has already successfully tested a train with digital signalling.

Bristol scheme moves forward

Network Rail said it has ‘substantially’ completed its first phase of work to create a new entrance at Bristol Temple Meads, providing a gateway to the east of the city and the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. Network Rail’s engineers and contractors BAM Nuttall have installed 18 concrete piles over 20 metres into the ground under platform 15.

Old signal cables make new playground

Children are rightly warned against playing on the railway, but it’s a very different story when the railway comes to play with them. The young pupils at a nursery and primary school in south east London are now enjoying a new playground – made from recycled signal cables. The project, devised by Network Rail and Seva Rail in Ashford, has resulted in a colourful play area for the younger children at Grinling Gibbons school. Network Rail and Seva staff helped create a new playground with a trampoline, climbing frame and more, and also improved a rubber-floored play area in the front of the school.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Kenneth Harper, Kelso

    If the Scottish Government wants to really improve the Aberdeen to the Central Belt then it would build a high speed line between Inverkeithing and Perth and reopen Stanley Jnct to Kinnaber Jnct both electrified plus wire Perth to Dundee and Dunblane to Perth. Aberdeen to Glasgow should be around 2hrs 15 min, Aberdeen to Edinburgh 1hr 0 min, Dundee to QS 1hr 10 Dundee to Edinburgh 55 min. I would propose 4 trains per hour 2 via Dundee and 2 via Forfar, plus 1 Edinburgh to Dundee via Kirkcaldy. Even without HS2 it would give a sub 6hr service Aberdeen to KX with HS 2 perhaps 5hr 30 min to Euston. Perhaps engaging with the British Government would be a start after all no City except London did more for the British economy than Aberdeen during the oil years and good transport links to the South would help it to re-position itself for the inevitable wealth loss from the shut down of oil and gas.

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