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Rail repairs to Drax Power Station route underway

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Network Rail has started essential work on a £2.1 million (€2.4 million) project to repair a bridge in North Yorkshire, UK, used by Drax.

The track over Aire Bridge is used exclusively by freight services travelling to and from Drax Power Station, which supplies around 11% of the UK’s renewable electricity, and must be replaced so that services can continue to run reliably.

Network Rail engineers will remove the existing track and replace it with new sleepers and ballast – beams and stones which improve drainage and support the track – and new rails. Structural repairs will also be carried out and a waterproof layer added to reduce the amount of maintenance work needed in the future.

Richard Owens, infrastructure director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said: “This essential repair work will boost reliability along this vital freight route so that companies that rely on freight, such as Drax, can continue to supply its customers across the UK.

“I know that closures are not ideal, so I’m glad that we’ve been able to bring forward a planned track renewal to within this closure to minimise disruption to the local community and freight operators.”

Drax’s head of logistics, Mark Gibbens, commented: “This work is vital to safeguard the future of this important infrastructure.

“Network Rail has worked closely with Drax to minimise the disruption this work will have on the power station and we don’t anticipate any unplanned disruption to supplies.”