Job done – Christmas rail possessions complete on time

Network Rail take a bow: £150m of track and station upgrade work was carried out during the Christmas and New Year period and the whole lot was completed on time

This time last year Network Rail was dealing with the fall out from disruption caused by major engineering work over running at a number of key points on the rail network. Particularly at Kings Cross, plant supply and a lack of contingency planning caused a major track upgrade project to over run.

This morning, barring disruptions due to signal failures and flooding, rail commuters returned to work largely unaffected and probably unaware of the £150m of improvement work carried out by around 20,000 staff and operatives between Christmas Eve and the early hours of 4 January.

An independent review carried out in 2015 into how Network Rail plans and manages its renewals work concluded that Christmas, Easter and Bank Holidays remain the best time to carry out long track possessions. Network Rail also carried out its own review of how it does things for planning and in the execution of track possessions.

Work completed over the holiday period included track reconfiguration as part of the London Bridge station rebuild, plus further south track renewals and work to replace a bridge on the Brighton mainline near Croydon