NETWORK Rail undertook its biggest programme of Christmas and new year engineering works between December 23 and January 5, delivering £160million worth of infrastructure renewals and improvements at 260 sites across the country.
More than 32,000 staff worked throughout the holidays, with much of the work scheduled for December 25-26 in an effort to reduce disruption for passengers.
Major projects included the completion and opening of the new concourse and rebuilt platforms at London Bridge (see Headline News); preparatory works for Crossrail, including the continuing upgrades of the Great Eastern Main Line between Liverpool Street and Shenfield; and the Great Western Main Line between Paddington and Reading.
No trains ran between Blackfriars and St Pancras International in central London between December 23 and January 1 as engineers prepared the sub-surface route for the introduction of the enhanced Thameslink timetable in May.
New Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and European Trains Control System (ETCS) equipment will allow up to 24 trains per hour in each direction to run through the core tunnels once the work is complete.
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