Overrunning engineering work could be a ‘disaster’
- Credit: Bill Smith - Archant
The Monday blues could be made worse for rail commuters returning to the office if engineering work overruns.
Work on the Norwich to Haughley line will start tonight as part of the January to April plan to clean the tracks.
But there are fears the work, due to end in the early hours of Monday morning, could overrun, causing chaos after the festive break.
National Rail, who are using a High Output Ballast Cleaner (HOBC) to freshen up gravel under railway sleepers, said they take overrunning seriously, but could not rule out it happening.
A spokesman for Network Rail said the work is part of a £170m investment in improving the railway in East Anglia in 2015.
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'Engineering work takes place every night of the week across the network - and without it the railway would literally stop moving,' he said.
'We take the potential for overruns very seriously and every engineer is aware of how important it is to return the railway to use on time.
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'It is only by investing in improving our infrastructure that we can deliver the safe and reliable railway that many people rely on.'
But a spokesman for a Norfolk-based passenger group, East Norfolk Transport Users Association, Steve Hewitt, described the possibility of back-to-work commuters being delayed as a 'disaster'.
'The thing with engineering work is everyone knows it has got to be done, but the problem is if in the last 30 years money had been spent by various governments then we would not need all this massive work in one go,' he said.
'If work overruns then it will be a disaster. If will be horrendous for people going back to work after a week or two off for Christmas.'
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