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[25 OCT 00] RAILTRACK NEWS
Rail Chaos As Track Closed At Rugby
BY ANTONY HOPKER

Rail users in Coventry and Warwickshire were facing misery today with the sudden closure of a large stretch of track on the main London line.

Trains heading between Rugby and Milton Keynes will now be diverted via Northampton. The extra distance will involve a 40-minute delay to all journeys.

The measures follow track closures in Scotland and the West Country. Some passengers were left stranded on sleeper trains last night as Railtrack gave just two hours notice about the changes.

Richard Fearn, Director of Railtrack Midlands Zone, said:

"We have actually brought forward pre-programmed track renewal works on sections of the West Coast Main Line where there are signs of gauge corner-cracking, a type of metal fatigue associated with the line at Hatfield."

Temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) have been introduced at Kilsby tunnel, south of Rugby, and the track has been closed to faster services, which are being diverted via Northampton to cut down on disruption.

Mr Fearn added:

"We are working around the clock to ensure the West Coast in the Midlands remains open and will be taking off the TSRs over the next few weeks.

"We apologise to all those affected by this difficult situation and thank them for their patience, but it is absolutely imperative that we continue to maintain and run safe railway."

Railtrack have introduced the measures in response to the fatal track derailment last week at Hatfield.

Since then speed restrictions have been introduced all over the country, as the true extent of the condition of the track has been revealed.

Railtrack says the decision has been made to do all the work at once, rather than spin out the delays that would be necessary as part of a 5.8 billion programme.

Passengers are advised to call 08457 484950 to get details of any delays.

SEE: [25 OCT 00]  COMMENT: GETTING THE RAILWAYS BACK ON TRACK
 
    

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CWN / Business / A-Z / Railtrack / 25 Oct 00

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