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More than 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges and viaducts, and almost 6,000 level crossings.
Taking are of Britain’s railway – to move 4.8 million passengers a day - is a 24/7 job.
How do we do it?
We’re proud that Britain has the safest railway in Europe. Our day-to-day operations and maintenance involve dedicated teams across the country, ensuring we maintain the best possible service for the millions who rely on the railway, each day.
Our operational function delivers the services that ensure safe performance of the railway, including managing the systems and processes that keep the rail network working.
Among other teams, this includes signalling operators in our regional rail operating centres, mobile operations managers and incident response teams that help reopen any part of the network that’s blocked.
Our Manchester Rail Operating Centre
Our operational readiness hub is the national operations centre, and it’s organised around our routes to meet the needs of our customers: passengers, passenger service and freight operators and external commercial stakeholders.
Maintenance is the day-to-day upkeep of the network. Our maintenance employees support our operations and project teams by making sure we maintain every part of our infrastructure – such as signals and power supplies, or assets such as track and bridges – and keep it in good working order.
Click on the gallery to see more images - the Britannia bridge in Wales, signals and track renewals
A closer look at some of our crucial work
When we talk about railway track, we mean the whole structure that trains run on, including:
Our daily maintenance processes include:
Bridges, tunnels and viaducts
Many of our bridges, tunnels and viaducts are Victorian. Responsibility for them is both a and a challenge.
The positive aspects of looking after such iconic, historical landmarks are offset by the challenges they present.
Some of these structures are very old, so are vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and often need to be renewed.
They may also need to be reconstructed; many bridges aren’t high enough to fit the overhead electrical equipment that’s required to power electric trains.
There are about 6,000 crossings on our rail network and we have a legal duty to assess, manage and control the risk for everyone
Level crossings fall into five distinct categories but each is unique so we’ve worked with our rail industry partners to develop a standardised method for assessing crossing risk. Factors taken into account include frequency of trains, frequency and types of users and the environment where the crossings are located.
We always plan essential works with great care to keep disruption to a minimum.
As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we’re working for you to allow trains to run more frequently, faster, and to improve the reliability of the rail network to reduce delays in the future.
When we need to carry out planned engineering works, such as replacing tracks or upgrading signalling systems, we might need to close a section of track for 24 hours or longer to complete the upgrade work efficiently and safely.
Trains run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there’s no time when the network isn’t being used, meaning works can cause some disruption for passengers and businesses.
We plan works for certain times so they cause the least disruption to passengers, such as on bank holidays, Sundays and overnight, when the network is less busy.
The post Looking after the railway – 24/7 appeared first on Network Rail.
This article first appeared on www.networkrail.co.uk
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