As part of Anglia’s railway upgrade plan from 2019-24, we will be undertaking works to renew our infrastructure – including renewing around a quarter of our track.
Over time, track and points become worn which can lead to temporary speed restrictions being put in place to reduce the stress on worn rails.
To keep services move at their most efficient, the rails have to be renewed from time to time to help us to maintain a safer and more reliable railway. Once replaced, the track is expected to last approx. 25 years resulting in fewer track faults, fewer closures for maintenance and fault finding and increased reliability, meaning fewer delays and cancellations
Tracks are made of steel which shrinks at low temperatures and expands at high temperatures. This can cause fractures which lead to track faults that cause delays.
Stressing involves stretching the track to reduce the amount of shrinkage and expansion on a typical day. This still means that in extremely cold or extremely hot weather the tracks will shrink and expand but most of the time they will remain stable and which means fewer faults and fewer speed restrictions.
A tamping machine packs down the ballast, the stones under the tracks, while lifting the track to level the track off. Once complete, this helps the train wheels to align with the track which results in a smoother ride for passengers and prevents the train wheels from causing damage to the track.
The ballast is important for track alignment and drainage, and this is cleaned as part of our maintenance programme with a ballast cleaner. This helps to keep the track in good condition so trains can run on time.
Below is a list of track renewals completed since Christmas 2019: