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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
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Wires start to go up on Great Western Main Line

The first overhead wires of the Great Western Main Line electrification project have gone up near Reading.

Network Rail engineers began the installation on November 12 between Pangbourne and Tilehurst – the section which will be used by Hitachi to test its Class 800 Intercity Express trains.

A mile of earth wire was installed, becoming the first section of OLE to go up beyond the existing catenary at Airport Junction in Stockley, London.

It’s a positive milestone for a project under intense scrutiny. The electrification programme is facing a significant delay and last month chief executive Mark Carne admitted that the original £874 million cost was expected to more than triple.

Network Rail’s senior programme manager, Sinan Al-Jawad, said: “This is a great milestone in this vital project to improve the line for passengers.

“Electric trains are quieter, cleaner and faster and will offer more seats and better journeys for everyone. I would like to thank all those who were engaged in getting the first wire up.”

 

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