ABOVE: An artist's impression of the rail curve after completion
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is praising the £47 million Hitchin rail curve...
He has been at the site in Hertfordshire this morning, the aim of which is to speed up journeys and ease congestion on the East Coast Mainline, as well as to Cambridge.
By taking the Cambridge line over the East Coast Main Line, rather than
across it, Hitchin - Cambridge trains will no longer have to cross three
other lines. This will increase capacity and make the railway more
The new stretch of track and bridge is scheduled to be complete by early 2014.
(BELOW: Communities Secretary Eric Pickles)
This comes on the day that the rail network is getting its biggest overhaul since Victorian times. The Government has confirmed a near nine-and-a-half billion pound boost across England and Wales.
Routes will be electrified, faster trains introduced and unused lines brought back.
The East Coast Main Line would be upgraded between London and the North
East, with a
series of projects that improve rail capacity and get more and faster
train services across the North of England.
Rail expert Tony Miles gave the plans a cautious welcome: "The one concern is how this investment is going to be paid
for...is this all going to be put onto ticket prices going forward?
There's no point creating capacity for lots more passengers and
freight if nobody can actually afford to use the trains and the railways
once they've been improved."
(BELOW: A satellite image of the work being carried out)
(BELOW: Map indicating the current bottle-neck)
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