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Video: Overhead wire replacement to reduce delays in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex

28 September 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

Network Rail has released time-lapse footage showing engineers taking down over 1km of overhead wire and replacing with new wire that will help reduce delays.

Video: Overhead wire replacement to reduce delays in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex

Gidea Park overhead wire project

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, over 1km of overhead wire has been taken down on the railway at Gidea Park, east London, so it can be replaced with wire that will not sag in the heat of summer, meaning fewer delays for passengers.

New overhead wire will not sag in the heat of summer

Once the work is complete, a long-standing speed restriction imposed in hot weather between Shenfield and Ilford can be removed, benefitting passengers as far as Norwich.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This work is crucial to improving the railway for everyone in the region as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, and once complete, passengers will experience fewer delays on their journeys to and from London. I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding while we carry out the work, and I’d advise anyone planning to travel over the next six weekends to check their journeys beforehand.”

Work also took place to upgrade the railway for the Crossrail programme in preparation for Elizabeth line services.

A further six weekends of improvement work is planned, which affects Abellio Greater Anglia and TfL Rail services into Liverpool Street, followed by a further 10 days over the Christmas and New Year period.

The programme of work includes:

  • The complete remodelling of a key junction at Shenfield to help deliver more reliable journeys for passengers travelling from London to Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich by May 2017. These improvements will enable passenger and freight trains to travel through the area more freely, reducing the risk of delays to other services.
  • Work to replace more overhead wires between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. This £250m project will improve reliability and significantly reduce the impact of heat-related disruption during the summer when overhead wires sag and speed restrictions are imposed.
  • Crossrail construction work continues at stations between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield providing improvements and extended platforms in preparation for the arrival of new air-conditioned trains that will start operating on the TfL Rail route from May 2017.
  • Signalling works and installation of station canopies and other structural steel works for the new Cambridge North station, due to open in May 2017.
  • In addition, TfL is replacing a road bridge at Ardleigh Green near Gidea Park, which has been timed to coincide with existing railway line closures to ensure minimum disruption to passengers.

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