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The train to Kemble is delayed...again
COMMUTERS faced another morning of disruption on trains out of Swindon yesterday, as Network Rail missed a deadline they had been working towards for more than three weeks.
The national rail operator had been working on upgrading the line between Swindon and Kemble, as part of a £45m project, since August 9, but failed to open the track by 5am as promised, forcing passengers onto buses for one final morning.
Trains were eventually running to and from Kemble at around 10.30am, five-and-a-half hours later than planned, and well after the morning rush for commuters.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the delay.
“More works were carried out last [Sunday] night after a routine inspection found that some sections of track needed refitting.
“Our staff worked throughout the night and the line was opened as soon as the issue was resolved. Rail services resumed to normal at around 10.30am this morning [Monday].”
Yesterday’s delay was not connected to the damage caused by an engineering train which derailed between Swindon and Minety almost two weeks ago, according to Network Rail.
There had been 600 railway staff and 100 engineering trains deployed over the past three weeks to move six miles of the existing track between Swindon and Kemble to make room for a second track, which will boost capacity and reduce delays.
Besides track work, improvements were also made to signalling equipment, a level crossing and earthworks at Standish Junction, Oaksey, Minety, Purton, Black Dog and Bremhill.
With the existing track now realigned, engineering work to reinstate the 12.5 miles of new track that was removed in the 1960s will begin.
The installation of this track will be carried out at night, when trains are not running, over the next few months to avoid disrupting passengers’ journeys.
The new track and new signalling equipment between Swindon to Kemble will be brought into use in 2014.
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