Tuesday, 14 April 2009
On the lines
Engineering: Easter passengers face delays, diversions and replacement buses
Rail passengers face chaos over Easter while £55million is spent upgrading key routes around UK
Thousands of rail passengers face widespread disruption over Easter as Network Rail uses the Bank Holiday to carry out maintenance work and upgrades, it was announced today.
That will include delays, diversions and replacement buses on key routes, including the main West Coast main line linking England and Scotland.
Network Rail says it will invest over £55million in Britain’s railways over the Easter weekend.
And in South West London, the line will be closed between Surbiton and Clapham, affecting mainly the suburban trains that pass through that area including trains to and from Dorking, Guildford via Leatherhead, and Chessington South.
Longer distance trains such as Guildford via Woking, Portsmouth and Southampton, will take a diversion through Staines.
Iain Coucher, Network Rail’s chief executive said: ‘We are embarking on a period of record investment in the railway, over the next five years to enable passengers to enjoy even more reliable, frequent and comfortable journeys in future.
‘This weekend, our engineers will work day and night across the country to build Britain a bigger and better railway.’
Up to speed: Bullet trains in China, which can run up to 225mph, hold the current domestic train record
Full speed ahead: Government supports plans for 225mph trains connecting London and the North
Plans for a new high speed train service between London and the North - with double-decker trains travelling at 225 mph - are set to get a boost from the Government and the Conservative opposition.
Transport Minister Lord Adonis will voice Government support for the idea of the new line to link the capital to the North of England and Scotland when he speaks tomorrow at a conference promoting the scheme.
Sir David Rowlands, the chairman of High Speed Two, which is preparing detailed plans for a new North-South line, said double-deck trains travelling at 225mph and carrying up to 800 passengers would depart every four minutes.
This would cut journey times from London to Birmingham to 30 minutes and from London to Manchester to just over an hour. He said he would prefer the line to have four tracks rather than two.