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Chester to Wrexham train line upgrade work finally complete

The £40m upgrade had caused major disruption

Work upgrading the railway line between Chester and Wrexham has finally been completed following major delays.

Five miles of track has been redoubled as part of the £40m major rail enhancement funded by the Welsh Government, which aimed to get more trains running between the two points with increased speeds of up to 90mph in sections.

Improvements will make the railway more resilient, with more reliable services for passengers and quicker recovery in the event of incidents on the network, reports our sister paper The Daily Post.

Chester to Wrexham train at Rossett

Four level crossings between Wrexham and Chester are also being upgraded with safer obstacle detection systems.

The work has been completed at Broad Oak and Balderton level crossings.

Green Lane and Pulford level crossings will remain closed to pedestrians and road users until the new equipment comes into effect by Friday April 14.

The multi-million pound scheme was scheduled to be completed in late 2015 but ran into major delays.

Chester-North Wales rail passengers face disruption

Doubling the line between Rossett Junction and Saltney Junction aims to get more trains running between the two points with increased speeds.

Andy Thomas, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said: “The North/South Wales enhancement project will unlock the potential for faster and more frequent services between Holyhead and Cardiff as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“Although I understand temporary road and rail closures are not ideal, they are necessary to ensure the safety of the public and the workforce throughout the duration of the work.

“We have been working closely with our partners Arriva Trains Wales and local authorities to minimise disruption during this essential upgrade work. I would like to thank road users and passengers for bearing with us while the work has been carried out.”

In December last year, The Daily Post reported how North east Wales will not see any new services until the end of 2017 at the earliest after it emerged Arriva Trains Wales have no plans to increase speeds or introduce new services even when the work is completed.

A railway insider told the newspaper: “It’s become a complete shambles.

“Even if the upgrade is complete by April 2017, the question arises as to when a new timetable might be implemented.

“Meanwhile the travelling public and local residents are bemused at five miles of new track lying unused and rusting.”

At the time, an Arriva Trains Wales spokeswoman said: “We currently have no plans to introduce additional services. From the date of commissioning we will utilise the additional track where we are expecting to see a more robust operation as a result.”

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