Stoke & Staffordshire

Norton Bridge railway flyover plans given go-ahead

Norton Bridge Junction Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Network Rail says the improvements will allow it to run extra trains between London and the north west of England

Plans for a railway flyover in Staffordshire to improve train journey times on the West Coast Main Line have been given the go-ahead.

Network Rail said the final phase of a £250m upgrade to the route had been approved by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

The flyover, at Norton Bridge, near Stafford, will see 6 miles (9.6km) of 100mph track built, as well as 10 new bridges.

Completion is expected by summer 2016.

'Major pinch-point'

Ian Jones, head of the engineering groups behind the scheme, said: "With the West Coast main line set to reach capacity in just five years' time, the flyover at Norton Bridge is one of the last improvements which can be made on the route.

"It will remove a major pinch-point and allow faster, more frequent and reliable passenger and freight services."

Network Rail has already installed new signals in a bit to speed up journeys between Norton Bridge and Crewe and provided a new area for freight trains at Stafford.

It said the flyover - the third phase of the scheme - would allow it to run two extra trains per hour in each direction between London and the north west of England and one extra fast train per hour between between Manchester and Birmingham.

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