Another track record was broken over Christmas when Network Rail’s track renewal system enjoyed a rare period of unbroken work on the West Coast main line.
The track renewal train, known as Track Renewal System 4 (TRS4), is regularly used on overnight possessions, as its speed allows the railway to be kept open for longer.
But on Christmas Day and Boxing Day it was unleashed in a 22-hour burst at Hillmorton, near Rugby, relaying 4,192 yards of track and sleepers. This effort, by LNW route’s Bletchley high output team, is a UK record.
Steve Featherstone, Network Rail’s programme director for track, said: “TRS4 is one of the most advanced pieces of track renewal equipment in the world and this just shows what it can do.
“When we use it overnight we are able to get 400-500 yards of track replaced, which helps us keep passengers on trains. But when we get the chance to run it for a longer period we can do great things.”
The remainder of the 54-hour possession was used to stress and prepare the line for handback at full line speed.