A major rail development near Eccleshall is on track after workers built a siding on the existing West Coast main line so materials can be delivered by train.
The installation of the railhead – a siding on the West Coast main line at Little Bridgeford – will allow track materials and ballast to be delivered to the site reducing lorry deliveries and traffic on nearby roads.
The work is part of the Stafford Area Improvements Programme which will remove the last major bottleneck on the West Coast main line at Norton Bridge allowing more passenger and freight services to run between London, the Midlands and the north-west.
Network Rail is delivering £250m of investment in new signalling equipment in and around Stafford, line speed improvements between Stafford and Crewe and building a new rail over rail flyover at Norton Bridge.
Workers were on site around the clock over the Bank Holiday weekend (May 1-4) to construct the new siding north of Stafford.
Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of earth have been moved at the site near Norton Bridge and eleven new bridges are being built along with 10km of new track to allow separation of fast and slow lines.
The work is being delivered by the Staffordshire Alliance – a partnership of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail.
Staffordshire Alliance Manager Matt Clark said:
“This is a real milestone for the programme and we’re delighted to have the railhead in place.
It is great news for the programme and great news for the local community as we can take traffic off the roads and deliver our materials direct to the site without affecting the running of the railway.”
Network Rail senior programme manager Ian Jones said:
“We’d like to thank rail users and our local communities for their patience, particularly over the bank holiday weekend.
The works in Stafford are of local and national benefit for passengers. It was essential we completed the work on time and means we can now get materials to the site by rail.”