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Edition No. 71

Date:- 25 October 2002


£2 million of work to replace four sections of railway track totalling 1.5 miles in the Kirkdale area of Merseyrail was completed successfully in the early hours of this morning (21 October).

The line had been closed to trains for the last nine days, whilst engineers took out jointed track and replaced it with continuously welded rail held in place by 3,681 wood or concrete sleepers set on 8,800 tonnes of new ballast.

The work brings major benefits for passengers and the rail industry alike:-

· The ride is quieter and smoother because passengers no longer hear the familiar clickety-clack from the train's wheels or feel the bumps associated with going over the joints in the track.
· Less wear and tear on the wheels, which brings maintenance benefits for the train operators and means less wear and tear on the track itself.
· People living near the railway line will experience less noise and vibration from the trains as they pass by.

Railtrack's zone director Tim Clarke said:- "Completing a project such as this, on time and within budget, is a tribute to the way the various elements of the rail industry can pull together. Railtrack's national logistics unit co-ordinated the removal of the old track and delivery of the new materials; EWS provided the engineering trains and crews; Jarvis Rail and their contractors did most of the physical work in association with our own engineers and staff. All in all, this was a job well done and one that should last the travelling public and the railways many decades to come."

Throughout the nine-day operation, Arriva Trains Merseyside provided a fleet of replacement buses for passengers on the Kirkby and Ormskirk lines, connecting with trains at Sandhills for the journey into Liverpool. Extra staff were also on hand to assist passengers who needed help.

Southport Reporter is Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2002.