Craven Arms level crossing will remain open as often as possible as Network Rail starts work to fit three miles of brand-new track through the Shropshire village.
Originally, the level crossing had been planned to temporarily close for two months but, after listening to the concerns of local businesses, Network Rail, together with the freight operators, has carefully replanned its work.
The vital work will see the renewal of three miles of track that runs through Craven Arms station, on the Marches line, between Newport and Shrewsbury. Brand new track will help ensure reliable journeys for rail passengers for many more years to come.
The road over Long Lane level crossing will be closed on the following dates to ensure the safety of staff and local road users:
- from 23:00 Friday 17 September to 06:00 Tuesday 21 September
- from 23:00 Thursday 23 September to 06:00 Tuesday 28 September
- from 23:00 Thursday 30 September to 06:00 Tuesday 5 October
- from 23:00 Thursday 7 October to 06:00 Tuesday 12 October
- from 23:00 Friday 15 October to 05:00 Monday 18 October
- from 23:00 Friday 22 October to 05:00 Monday 25 October
- from 23:00 Saturday 20 November to 10:00 Sunday 21 November
Working closely with Shropshire Council, a diversionary route using Clun Road and Watling Street will be put in place for smaller vehicles. Larger vehicles will be diverted via the A49, A4113, B4385 and B4368. Pedestrians will be able to access the crossing when work is not taking place on site.
Andrew Hayward, project manager at Network Rail said: “We have listened to feedback from local businesses and replanned our work to enable the level crossing to remain open for much of the project. We would like to thank local businesses and the local community in advance for bearing with us whilst we carry out this essential upgrade work.”
Philip Dunne, MP for Shropshire said: “I am pleased Network Rail have listened to concerns of local businesses and the community, and have worked to find an alternative to a lengthy closure of the level crossing at Craven Arms. This change will significantly reduce disruption, and will help maintain easier access to the household recycling facility for local residents, which I was keen to ensure.”
The main work will take place over four weekends in September and October where staff will be working around the clock to remove the old tracks, lay the new rails and replace the ballast – the stones which keep the tracks in place.
There will be a rail replacement bus service in operation between Hereford and Shrewsbury whilst the work is underway. Rail passengers are advised to check their journeys in advance before travelling.
Network Rail has planned additional upgrade work at Ashford Bowdler level crossing on 25 and 26 September to coincide with the work at Craven Arms to lessen the disruption to rail passengers along the Marches line.
Photo credit: Network Rail