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Great Eastern upgrades continue


High output ballast cleaner renewing trackbed

Work to upgrade the Great Eastern main line is running to schedule and is entering its next phase, says Network Rail.

The company’s high output ballast cleaner has been working to renew the trackbed between Norwich and Ipswich five nights a week since January, and in that time it has covered more than 14 miles of railway.

From 18 May, the machine will move to the stretch of railway between Colchester and Shenfield. As a result an amended timetable will operate on the route after 8.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as well as on some Sunday mornings. The work on this stretch will continue until the end of October, after which NR says the machine will return to the northern end of the route between Norwich and Stowmarket. Installation of new track is due to begin in late 2016.

NR says that using the high output ballast cleaner means double the distance can be renewed in a night while trains are still running on the adjacent line. The machine scoops up ballast before sieving out small, broken pieces and replacing them with fresh stone.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail route managing director, said: ‘With this technology, we can renew the railway while trains are still running but there will be some changes to services, and we thank passengers in advance for their patience.’

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