Owing to nearly £200m of investment and vital improvement work carried out over the Christmas period, the skyline near Newport station now boasts a new footbridge and the railway at Severn Tunnel Junction is about to be completely revamped.
More than 400 engineers have been working round the clock every day, ploughing in nearly 100,000 manhours altogether since the festive period began.
In the last eight days, engineers have successfully lifted in the 71 tonne passenger footbridge, a core structure of the eco-friendly Newport station. The new station, which will be twice the size of the old station, is due to be completed in time for Ryder Cup.
In addition, two thirds of the work to install 6.3km of new track and 16 sets of points – as big as the approach to a major terminal station like Euston – at Severn Tunnel Junction is completed. The work is part of a £150m investment to improve rail performance in the Newport area and to enable more trains to run in the future.
While the majority of the construction work is nearly completed at Severn Tunnel Junction, engineers will continue to test and commission the upgraded signalling equipment and infrastructure between Pilning (Bristol) and East Usk (Newport) before the line reopens on 4 January.
Chris Rayner, route director for Network Rail said: “There’s still much work to be done, but our work has progressed very smoothly in the last eight days with 90% of the overall work now completed.
“Our engineers have been working under very difficult weather conditions and we owe it to their hard work for accomplishing so much. We are also very grateful to passengers for their patience and we will continue to work hard in the next three days to complete this major programme of work as planned.”