Aylesbury train route reopens after major 10-week HS2 project
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This morning (30 October), Network Rail announced that service was resuming, for the previous three and a half months customers have been using replacement buses.
Engineers have replaced almost 2km of track across a brand-new embankment built by HS2’s contractor, EKFB (a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall).
Drone footage released by the rail provider showed the scale of the work completed by contractors.
Overall, 2,953 concrete sleepers, 2,000 metres of rail, and11,000 tonnes of railway ballast (stone) were installed.
Network Rail is promising smoother and more reliable journeys for Chiltern Railways' passengers as a result of the work. The main purpose of the work was to enable HS2 vehicles to pass beneath a new 100m steel bridge, without disrupting local train services.
To the north of the new high speed route HS2 has installed a further bridge structure which will allow the proposed South West Aylesbury Link Road to also pass beneath the route between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough, Network Rail adds.
Most of the materials needed were delivered to site by rail, including the new railway ballast, Network Rail estimates that this helped to remove over 800 lorry journeys.
Patrick Cawley, director for ‘On Network Works’ for Network Rail and HS2, said: “I’d like to say a huge thanks to passengers and local people for their patience while we carried out our major improvements in Aylesbury which will pave the way for HS2, Britain’s new high-speed railway.
“As part of the project we’ve upgraded almost 2km of track in the area which will mean locally that our passengers and freight customers will also benefit from smoother and more reliable journeys.”
Replacement buses were also used to drop off customers in Little Kimble and Monks Risborough.
Tony Baxter, operations director at Chiltern Railways, said: "We'd like to offer our sincere thanks to our customers, whose patience and understanding during this ten-week line closure has enabled these vital HS2 works to take place.
"We're looking forward to welcoming customers back to our route between Princes Risborough and Aylesbury, and staff will be on site delivering cakes and vouchers for respective station cafes on Tuesday 31 October as a small gesture of our gratitude.
"We know that this has been a long period of disruption, and are pleased to be sending the rail replacement buses back to the garage and resuming our train services along the line.”
Staff from Network Rail and Chiltern Railways will be at Aylesbury and Princes Risborough stations between 3pm and 6pm tomorrow (31 October)giving out cakes to passengers.
Marsh Lane level crossing - which was closed to enable the track realignment work - will remain shut to road users until 2024 while a project to upgrade the level crossing and bring it up to modern safety standards takes place, Network Rail advises.