A railway line serving Reading should be hit by fewer delays in future after the biggest upgrade in around 40 years.
Engineers from Network Rail spent 10 days over the Easter holidays laying about 1,500 metres of new track on the Reading to Gatwick Airport route, in the Guildford area.
As well as new track they upgraded signalling equipment, renewed 1,200 metres of conductor rail to improve the power supply and removed speed restrictions on part of the track, which were in place following two landslips last year.
Delays on the line caused by track failures will be reduced, Network Rail says, as the track is designed to last 60 years.
Mark Killick, route director for Network Rail Wessex, said: “We’ve now completed the biggest rail improvement programme in the Guildford area for nearly 40 years, one that has taken two years to plan and will provide a more reliable railway and better journeys for passengers.
“I’d like to thank key workers and those unable to work from home for their patience during the works and also praise our railway heroes who adopted new practices and worked tirelessly over the Easter break. Their efforts will ensure the railway is ready and waiting for passengers once the pandemic restrictions are eventually lifted.”
Christian Neill, deputy customer experience director for South Western Railway, added: “The work that was carried out over the Easter period will provide more reliable journeys for our customers.
“I’d like to send a huge thank you to all the teams involved, from the engineers at Network Rail to the replacement bus service teams, the teams on stations and trains to the British Transport Police.
“The biggest thank you goes to our customers for their patience and for only travelling if their journey was essential.”
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