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Network Rail earmark £22million investment in drainage on East Coast route, after landslips between Newark and Grantham

A rail route disrupted by landslips and heavy rain is set for a major investment to improve drainage and passenger safety.

Network Rail is to spend an additional £22million on its East Coast route, which includes the East Coast Mainline which connects Grantham to major cities including London and Edinburgh.

Over the past year, there have been multiple incidents of landslips and flooding, including between Newark and Grantham, which had caused major disruption to passengers and communities.

Network Rail is to spend £22million on improving drainage after landslips and flooding on the East Coast route.
Network Rail is to spend £22million on improving drainage after landslips and flooding on the East Coast route.

The incidents can potentially be dangerous as well as expensive and time consuming to resolve.

April marks the start of Network Rail’s latest five-year funding cycle and the £22million earmarked for investment in drainage will allow renewal and refurbishment projects to be carried out on earthwork assets across the route, along with an enhanced monitoring and maintenance programme of drainage systems.

Work has already begun on a northern section of the route, near Durham, where Network Rail engineers are working to stabilise over 1km of land next to the East Coast Main Line.

Over the next five years £2.8billion will be spent on the day-to-day running of the route and a widespread programme of renewals and upgrades on the network, to improve the experience of passengers and deliver a safe and reliable railway.

It includes £285m to be spent on the East Coast Digital Programme upgrading the southern end of the East Coast Main Line to digital signalling, leading to more reliable and greener journeys for passengers, as well as hundreds of kilometres of track being renewed.

Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “Over the next five years, we are committed to making the rail network across our route better for all our passengers.

“Climate change is an ever-increasing problem for our aging infrastructure, but we are proactively working to tackle the issue and improve the reliability and resilience of our network.

“We are carrying out major proactive climate-resilience work to enhance our railway and make journeys safer for passengers, and we will be improving our monitoring of our drainage assets.

“We will also be carrying out major improvements to track, switches and crossings, the equipment used for trains to cross from one track to another, signals, level crossings, and more to improve train performance and increase reliability for passengers."

Nationally, Network Rail has announced a £45.4billion rail improvement plan aimed at delivering a simpler, better, greener railway, with plans to tackle the extremes of climate change.

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