|There were a myriad of
items like track alignments, new traction power supply, new
signalling, new civil works, and overhead equipment. For example
with over head equipment the planning began with a detailed
examination to establish which tracks were to be electrified. The
heights of all the over bridges were carefully checked to
determine which of them would require raising or completely
rebuilding to provide head room for the overhead equipment.
Wherever possible the railway worked with the highways agency so
plans for road re-alignment or widening could be incorporated and
where any proposals for new over bridges were planned to ensure
sufficient head room was available.
Next the design of power supply
equipment was prepared, planning the arrangement of overhead
conductors and the position of supporting structures. The location
of each individual structure and its foundation along the line had
then to be examined and any necessary modifications made.
The design of the over head
equipment, in addition to the lineside structures, included
supporting assemblies of 'headspan' wires (used to carry the
conductor wires where a number of tracks run close together) and
cantilever arms (supporting the conductor wires over individual
tracks) and the design of the wiring pattern (where the wires
Also in the plan were new
locomotives, air conditioned coaches with full sound insulation
and increased storage space and not forgetting Travellers Fare.
The introduction of electric
services coincided with the mid-point of a new approach to railway
catering. Travellers Fare took over all services and
establishments on stations and trains. More than £5m was spent in
a five year program to modernise buffer and restaurant facilities,
included modernising the buffer at Preston station along with
further improvements to the existing bar.
The work on the project (Weaver
Junction to Gretna) started with railway magazine for January 1971
reporting the work would be carried out in 25 phases scheduled for
The railway had to continue
operating whilst avoiding long occupations, but some weekend
working was authorised especially north of Preston where
diversionary routes were available.
In the Preston area the layout was
altered piecemeal during 1971-2, the new layouts being connected
to the existing mechanical frames on a temporary basis. This
reduced traffic disruption though it significantly increased the
signalling and telecom departments work-load.