Network Rail Continues with Vital Repair Works on WCML

Network Rail says it is continuing with repairs and maintenance work on the West Coast Main Line – Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway line – to make sure vital goods and key workers keep moving.

Network Rail’s staff are classed as key workers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently they spent the weekend working on the West Coast Main Line. Works included repairs between Watford Junction and Euston; stabilising an embankment near Carlisle; and refurbishing switches and crossings at Wembley.

The repairs between Watford Junction and Euston are to overhead power lines. These works were the final stage to repair 1000 metres of overhead lines that were damaged on 7 March.

Network Rail overhead line repair WCML
Network Rail overhead line repair on the West Coast Main Line

The embankment near Carlisle became weakened during the long period of heavy rainfall. As a result Network Rail became worried about the structures holding up the overhead lines.

At Wembley engineers are refurbishing switches and crossings that guide trains from one track to another. Because the route at this section is particularly busy, the wear and tear is high, which is why parts need to be replaced.

Tim Shoveller, Managing Diretor, Network Rail North West and Central, said:

“As key workers in the transport sector, colleagues have been working around the clock this weekend to make sure that we an get NHS medics, emergency service staff, food, fuel and medicines where they need to be.

“We are continuing to plan carefully while supporting our railway colleagues, especially those in critical front line roles, as we all work together to support Britain in its hour of need. Our role in Britain's coronavirus response is clear – to keep key workers and vital supplies moving safely as together we rise to this challenge.”

From 23 March there has been a new timetable in place, providing more space for freight traffic as demand for passenger services falls.

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