Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Passengers Face Delays While Track Is Upgraded

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Passengers Face Delays While Track Is Upgraded

Article excerpt

Byline: Kathryn Riddell Reporter

PLANS to upgrade ageing track at Newcastle's Central Station is set to cause disruption for over a week in January.

Network Rail has announced they are investing PS8.6m to renew 19 sets of switches and crossings, known as points, in the New Year.

The work to replace the moving pieces of track, which guide trains to the correct route, starts on Saturday, January 6 and will finish by Monday, January 15.

The points, at the south of the station, have a limited lifespan due to the immense wear they receive from heavy trains.

While engineers carry out the replacement, there will be changes to services to and from Newcastle with almost 2,000 passenger trains and 260 freight trains which usually cross the King Edward Bridge.

Platforms 9 to 12 will also be out of use during the work, which is part of the Great North Rail Project.

A revised timetable will run with some services starting and/or terminating at York, Durham and the MetroCentre.

Buses will also be used as a replacement between some stations, with passengers warned that trains which do run to and from Newcastle will be extremely busy.

The points which are being replaced were first installed in the 1980s and despite regular maintenance they now need replacing, having failed 15 times between January and October this year.

Virgin Trains, which manages Newcastle Central station, said it would provide extra staff and signs to help passengers during the engineering works.

Virgin Trains will run a full timetable on weekdays, although southbound services from Edinburgh will run 15 minutes earlier until they reach Newcastle.

Northbound services will be extended by up to 15 minutes.

Between 12.15pm Saturday, January 13 to 1pm Sunday, January 14, Virgin Trains will run an hourly service between London King's Cross and Newcastle and Scotland. …

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