Sharing our successes

Hard working holiday is injury free

Christmas works delivered safely and ahead of schedule.

A huge thank you to everyone who was out delivering critical maintenance works over Christmas supporting our projects. All were completed without injury, ensuring that everyone was able to return home safely to their families and friends during the festive period.

      Around the country £127m of engineering works was undertaken on the railways,  helping to create a more modern, reliable infrastructure and safer services for passengers. Key highlights for Octavius included electrification works between Farncombe to Petersfield to prepare the line for modern signalling systems and monitoring works at Crewkerne tunnel cutting. Further highlights also included replacement and renewal of the canopy columns, steel brackets and waterproofing at Fratton Station, drainage works at Portsmouth and Southsea Station and the removal and replacement of rotten timbers and windows on the passenger footbridge at Yeovil Pen Mill Station. Additionally, our teams took advantage of the line closures by collecting litters on the roads and tidied the areas around the work sites.

All projects were delivered safely to programme and with minimal impact to the local community,  with some handed back to our customer, Network Rail, nearly 7 hours ahead of schedule.


72 planned trackside shifts (including possessions, line blockages and segregated working arrangements).

44 Octavius staff were on call over the Christmas and New Year period.

3 blockades

No accidents or incidents

Following the busy and seamless Christmas period, there was no time to rest for our One Team Wessex colleagues. On the 3rd January they responded to another landslip at Crewkerne Tunnel Cutting, following only recently managing a landslip in December last 2023; this time near the tunnel entrance. Within 24 hours our team immediately mobilised on site, cleared 100 tonnes of fallen spoil, tidied the affected areas and installed 30 tonne bags at the toe of the cutting. They team also recommenced installation of soil nails whilst on site. A fantastic efficient response to ensure the railway could reopen safely and quickly as possible for passengers!

Well done and thank you to everyone who gave up their holidays to improve the railway and for quickly and safely responding to emergency works.

After the Christmas period our site teams and offices held a Back To Work Briefing, reminding everyone of our STOPThink! Fundamentals and refocusing everyone on safety risks. You can read more about the importance of these sessions on the Safely Back To Work news story.

This Christmas, with Wessex Works Delivery challenged to deliver one of its largest ever workbanks, I am pleased to announce that we were successful in delivery of all of our scope and the works were delivered safely, without accident/incident to our people. This is testament to the preparation and hard work from this great team.   You should all be proud of what we have achieved, so a huge thank you from me. 
Patrick Gallagher
Network Rail, Programme Director (Wessex Works Delivery)

Your stories

Have you got an interesting story to tell?

If you have any feedback or if you would like to contribute to the next issue please let us know!