Images: Network Rail to upgrade track in 175-year-old Staffordshire tunnel

Network Rail are investing £2 million in a reliability upgrade for track in a 175-year-old Staffordshire tunnel.

Meir railway tunnel, which has connected passengers between Uttoxeter and Stoke-on-Trent for 175 years - Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail are investing £2 million to upgrade track through a 175-year-old tunnel in Staffordshire. During March 2023, engineers will replace almost 1.6 kilometres of rail and supporting ballast and sleepers along both tracks through Meir railway tunnel to help more trains run on time between Uttoxeter and Stoke-on-Trent.

The tracks, which run between Longton and Blythe Bridge stations, haven’t had any major work since 1968 and this essential upgrade will allow passengers to continue to use this route reliably for the next 50 years.

Reliability upgrade through 175-year-old Staffordshire tunnel

Credit: Network Rail

“This tunnel holds so much history and is a vital part of the railway in Staffordshire, and these upgrades will make sure that passengers can continue to travel through it reliably well into the future,” Steve Hopkinson, East Midlands Operations Director for Network Rail said. “To do the work safely, we inevitably need to close the tunnel so there will be some changes to services and I’m sorry if this impacts people’s plans. Our best advice is to allow some extra time and to check your journey before setting off.”

 “Between 5 and 12 March we will be running a replacement rail service between Uttoxeter and Stoke-on-Trent,” Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director for EMR, said. “We are asking customers to plan ahead and allow plenty of time to carry out their journeys and we would like to thank them for their patience whilst Network Rail carry out work along the tracks.”

The Meir tunnel was originally constructed by the North Staffordshire Railway in 1848 and now runs parallel to the A50 and a busy road tunnel of the same name.

Tracks through Meir railway tunnel in Staffordshire are being upgraded

Credit: Network Rail


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