Early May Bank Holiday upgrades – five highlights

Five highlights from the early May Bank Holiday upgrades

We successfully delivered 550 upgrade projects over the early May Bank Holiday.  

The entirety of our work was worth £70m and provided essential railway upgrades for you and our freight partners.  

Here are five of the highlights from this huge scope of work.  

1. Making way for a new railway viaduct  

SAS13 bridge replacement

Our North West and Central teams completed demolishing a Victorian railway viaduct on the West Coast Main Line, Brimingham.

We demolished eight spans of the existing nine-span viaduct in preparation to replace it with a new 92-metre-long 2,600-tonne-single-span bridge.

Once installed, the new SAS13 bridge will allow future tracks for Britain’s new zero-carbon railway to pass underneath it, HS2.  

2. Prepping for hourly services on the Dartmoor Line   

Our Western colleagues carried out track upgrades on the recently opened Dartmoor Line in Devon.

While working in a tight space, engineers removed old track, dug new formations, and installed geotextiles, plates that sit beneath the ballast and provide the railway with stability. We then lifted the new track using specialised machines, McCulloch panel lifters.

Once installed, the new track and upgraded railway will allow an hourly service to operate between Exeter and Okehampton from mid-May.

3. Improving journeys in Kent  

Our teams from Kent worked on upgrading the railway at Tonbridge, as part of our £1.25 billion investment on the Kent route.

Tonbridge track renewals

We renewed switches and crossings, the moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another and allow them to cross paths. We also renewed the rails, sleepers, the wooden/concrete blocks that support the rails, and the stone ballast underneath.

This essential work will help reduce the number of delays and increase the reliability of your journeys.  

4. Providing reliability in Macclesfield  

Our engineers in the North West and Central region upgraded points and signals, the traffic lights of the railway, in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

We used cranes to remove old signaling gantries, steel frames that hold the signals above the track, and replaced them with upgraded signaling posts.  

The new set of points and signals will reduce delays and make your journeys safer and more reliable.

5. Staying on track at London Euston  

Our teams worked to renew track, switches and crossings at London Euston and Watford North Junction.

We used huge kirow rail cranes to lift new track and materials into place as part of our investment to improve the West Coast Main Line.

We also carried out preparatory work for Britain’s zero carbon railway, HS2. The work will improve capacity and provide a more reliable and safer railway for you.

Read more: