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The Transpennine Route Upgrade will see track renewal taking place between York and Church Fenton until Christmas
The massive multi-billion pound programme will provide much-improved connectivity for the North whilst supporting economic growth. The upgrade will mean faster, more reliable and increased services between York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester.
The current stage of the project will go on until the Christmas period and will see the replacement of track on all four of the East Coast Main Line lines between York and Colton Junction. Lines at Colton Junction and Church Fenton will also see replacements and see the lines speed increased to 125mph.
The programme of work is being undertaken by the Transpennine Route Upgrade East Alliance (TRU East) which incorporate Network Rail, VolkerRail, J. Murphy & Sons and Siemens and will provide the infrastructure improvements for the Eastern part of the route between York and Leeds.
As part of the project, the Alliance have worked together to keep disruption to passengers and freight to a minimum with work being carried out through midweek nights.
Work will soon commence prefabricating each of the 60ft-long sections of new track at their new logistic hub at Gascoigne Wood which only opened this month. Just three miles away from Church Fenton the hub features a 400m railhead which runs off of the main network.
The prefabricated track panels will be delivered with signalling bonds, bolt holes and fish plates to join the new sections pre-installed which will cut down on installation time-on-site, allowing faster progress, and also providing greater security around jointing systems.
Back in 2020 work was undertaken between York and Colton Junction to install 69 overhead line equipment foundation piles, a 65-metre-wide under-track crossing beneath the six tracks at Colton Junction and also included the adjustment of 47 overhead line head-span structures. The work completed through this period will now allow the alignment of track and overhead line equipment to be finished for this section over Christmas 2021.
Work was also undertaken between Colton Junction and Church Fenton with one 54-hour and three 29-hour line possessions in July 2021 which allows for the lines through this section to be re-aligned into their final position.
The 17km track renewal programme is the beginning of an ongoing programme of work which is split into stages with the final installation expected to complete during December 2023.
James Ramsden, TRU East Alliance Project Lead on the York to Church Fenton scheme, said: “Our teams have worked tremendously hard to ensure this project could move forward into track renewals, and I am immensely proud of their efforts.
“We have worked closely with several stakeholders, to ensure minimal disruption to train and freight operating companies, and thanks to the continued input of Network Rail, have developed a strong and robust plan, which will ultimately provide passengers with a much smoother, more reliable service.”
Stephen Wright, Transpennine Route Upgrade Senior Sponsor for Network Rail, said: “We’ve made major progress between York and Church Fenton ahead of this vital part of the project to renew the track. This work is a step towards boosting reliability and bringing faster, more frequent services.
“We are continuing to work closely with the TRU East Alliance to compete this part of the upgrade as soon as possible so passengers can reap the benefits.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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