Network Rail said it was the single biggest track renewals project it had ever undertaken. The project was delivered with its S&C South Alliance partners, Colas Rail and URS, and Babcock.
The programme culminated over the August bank holiday weekend with an ‘orange army’ lowering and replacing 10km of track in Bath and its surrounding area in preparation for the arrival of a new fleet of electric trains. The team also installed 11 new switches and crossings, enabling trains to move from one track to another. The new lower track has created additional headroom needed for the necessary overhead lines while preserving Bath’s historic architecture.
There were 217 logistics trains used on the project (not including tamper shifts), laying 23,000 new concrete sleepers and 98,000 tonnes of ballast.
Network Rail has produced timelapse videos showing the work at each of the five sites.
Network Rail project director Andy Haynes said: “We always knew this was going to be a complex project given the historic architecture and infrastructure we were working around, but I’m pleased to say all work was completed on time.
“Now this preparation work has been carried out, we will be able to install the overhead line equipment that will be used to power the new electric trains. These trains will provide passengers with more seats and faster journeys, while significantly reducing noise and pollution for those who live close to the railway line.”