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Major electrification work undertaken to improve journeys through Newbury
Major electrification work undertaken to improve journeys through Newbury

Major electrification work undertaken to improve journeys through Newbury

Further work in the quest towards electrification has been completed, as wiring has been installed on the railway through Newbury.

This installation process – more than 300 miles in length – was undertaken by hundreds of Network Rail’s engineers who worked around the clock in order to ready the line for electrification through Berkshire.

The announcement of the completion of this work follows hot on the heels of the news that overhead wires will be installed on the Southend Victoria branch line to prepare for electrification.

In Newbury, this is a major project for the area; the electric wiring will be responsible for carrying 25,000 volts of electricity above 40 miles of track between Reading and Newbury.

The long term benefits will allow for the Great Western route to benefit from faster, more reliable, and much greener journeys.

It perfectly illustrates the importance of this technology in ensuring the viability of the network in the next decades, giving more frequent journeys and producing emissions in line with government strategy.

Part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, the route in Berkshire will see electrification work completed later this year, bringing journey times down by the start of next year.

David Buisson is the Major Programme Director for Network Rail. He described this project as a “major step forward.”

He said: “The work delivered by the entire RS2 team during the blockade was outstanding and a major step forward in electrifying this section of the railway.”

The installation of the wiring – done during a period of three weeks when the line was closed – is part of a wider scheme of work that is being carried out throughout this year on the line through Berkshire.

In addition to the wiring and subsequent electrification of the line, platforms at Newbury station are being extended so that the longer electric trains can serve these stations, while track renewals have also been undertaken.

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