Using a specialist train called the TRS (Track Renewal System) Network Rail replaced almost 4km (2.4 miles) of track just south of Grantham, which will provide a smoother and more reliable service for passengers for years to come.
The work began after the last service on Christmas Eve and completed before the first service today (Friday, 27 December). As no services run on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, it meant that this length of track could be replaced over 53 hours, instead of the nine overnight weekend shifts it would have taken usually, meaning passengers can feel the benefit of the work more quickly. Collectively, Network Rail and supply partners spent over 5500 hours on the project.
To complete the work, Network Rail staff used the specialist engineering train, which is a third of a mile long and typically relays half a mile of track per shift. It works around the country all year round, mostly overnight so that passenger services aren’t disrupted. It removes the old rail and sleepers and then replaces them with the new rail and sleepers straight away. The work ensures the new track infrastructure is fit for a faster and heavily used railway.
Grantham is on the East Coast Main Line, which is currently undergoing a £1.2billion upgrade. The busy line carries over 20 million passengers a year. The upgrade will allow more trains to run and deliver quicker, more reliable journeys.
Ben Brooks, High Output alliance director for Network Rail said, “Completing this work over the Christmas break and causing no impact to services means passengers benefit from a smoother and more reliable railway more quickly.
“This has been a significant investment into the railway in Grantham which will help to improve services and keep trains running reliably for years to come.”