Passengers travelling on the Chiltern main line between Dorridge and Birmingham Moor Street have a more reliable railway after work was completed by Network Rail ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
The work included switches and crossings – which allow trains to move from one track to another – being replaced at the Tyseley train maintenance depot between Monday 20 and Friday 24 June.
The new sections of track give more reliable access for trains in and out of the depot which is an important site for operators West Midlands Railway and CrossCountry.
With more than one million extra passenger journeys predicted across the West Midlands rail network, any issues there during the Commonwealth Games could cause delays across the region, including risking overcrowding at key stations serving sports venues.
Denise Wetton, Network Rail’s Central route director, said: “These upgrades will improve journeys across the wider West Midlands, providing passengers with an efficient, cleaner and more reliable railway throughout our major summer of sport.
“The work will also help to reduce the risk of station platforms becoming overcrowded as a result of the predicted one million extra passenger journeys during the Commonwealth Games.”
Engineers and maintenance staff also carried out lots of additional work during the railway closure, including:
- Installing new rails, sleepers and ballast (railway foundation stones)
- Stressing rails to cope better with hot weather
- Removing overgrown plants and graffiti
A top-to-bottom deep clean of Birmingham Moor Street station was also completed. Canopies, toilets, waiting rooms, platforms, concourse floors and beams were all improved, while the disused tracks were cleared of overgrown vegetation.
More than 20 volunteers from the Friends of the Shakespeare line also installed 11 large planters and replanted existing ones as part of work to improve the station for passengers ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
Getting all of this work done at once reduces future disruption to passengers through multiple railway closures and provides a more reliable rail network not only during the Games but for many years to come.
Passengers are being asked to prepare for a massive West Midlands summer of sport by planning their journeys in advance at www.nationalrail.co.uk.