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August 6, 2019updated 22 Dec 2021 11:07am

Network Rail reopens West Coast mainline following overhaul

Network Rail has fully reopened West Coast mainline after a £27m overhaul of Acton Grange junction near Warrington.

Network Rail has fully reopened West Coast mainline after a £27m overhaul of Acton Grange junction near Warrington.

The 16-day overhaul was part of the Great North Rail Project. The project saw upgrades to track, cabling, overhead lines and signalling.

Outdated sections of track and old equipment were also brought up to modern standards as part of the project.

It replaced 3,200t of track foundation stone and removed a track crossing near Runcorn East station.

West Coast mainline connects London with Glasgow.

Acting route managing director David Golding said: “Our complete overhaul of Acton Grange junction is vital as it sits on the West Coast mainline, Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway.

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“With more than 260 trains using this junction every day, it is important to keep it in a safe, good condition. Our upgrades will ensure this vital part of the railway stays reliable for passengers for many years to come.

“I want to thank passengers for bearing with us while we delivered this much-needed work.”

The West Coast mainline is one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use railway lines for passengers and freight trains, with as many as 260 trains using the Acton Grange junction every day.

To minimise future disruption to passengers in the area, Network Rail also carried out engineering work to coincide with the 16-day closure of Acton Grange junction.

Engineering teams overhauled 4km of track and 2km of drainage through nearby Sutton Tunnel.

Furthermore, a track crossing near Runcorn East station was removed.

It is claimed that this move saved a further 13-day closure of the West Coast mainline.

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