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Basingstoke set to benefit from £1bn investment scheme
7:15pm Tuesday 8th January 2013 in News
A computer-generated image of a regional headquarters on the Gresley Road site put forward by Network Rail in 2011
BASINGSTOKE is to be one of the hubs in a £1bn investment plan that was announced for the South and South West by Network Rail today.
Some of the cash will be spent on creating the new £50 million signalling centre at Gresley Road, in South View, as previously reported.
The rail infrastructure owner is also planning to renew the track on the lines from Worting Junction near Basingstoke to Salisbury and Southampton, respectively. Platform capacity at London Waterloo for commuters is also set to increase to allow for larger trains. The approaches to Waterloo are also to be overhauled.
All the work is scheduled to be completed between 2014 and 2019, meaning more years of disruption. But Network Rail has already completed its programme of bridge replacement on the diversionary line through Overton, to allow for larger shipping containers from Southampton.
The Gresley Road signalling centre and regional headquarters will be one of just 14 such hubs in the country, replacing 800 signal boxes. It may employ 900 people whose jobs have been moved from other sites, although a planning application has still to be submitted.
If the plans are approved by the Office of Rail Regulation and go ahead, the centre will control signalling in the entire Wessex region of the rail network.