Vital Crossrail work delivered over Christmas period
4 January 2017 • Author: Katie Sadler, European Railway Review
A £45m programme of work was completed over the Christmas period for the Crossrail project on existing railway in outer London, Berkshire and Essex.
Network Rail has completed major improvement works as part of the Crossrail project during the Christmas period. More than 4,000 workers using 75 engineering trains carried out the planned engineering operation which will eventually integrate t new Elizabeth line tunnels beneath London with the existing rail network. Three quarters of the route will run above ground in outer London, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex, bringing 1.5 million more people within 45 minutes of central London.
Crossrail work on existing railway carried out in preparation for Elizabeth line
Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “Successful completion of these Christmas works was vital to delivering the Elizabeth line. As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan they will benefit passengers by improving reliability, increasing the capacity of the rail network and enabling the introduction of new rolling stock. I would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience whilst we carried out our work over the festive period.”
The recent Crossrail work will also provide immediate benefits which include:
- Opening the second ramp of the Stockley Flyover at Heathrow junction and a new diveunder at Acton. These major new structures have been built as part of the Crossrail project but will be used by GWR and Heathrow Express trains, adding capacity and improving reliability on this busy section of the Great Western Main Line.
- Opening the bay platform at Hayes & Harlington, which will allow GWR to bring in even more new electric trains, increasing frequency between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington to a half-hourly service.
- Upgrading and remodelling the track at Maidenhead. This included the installation of 11 new sets of points and continued work to electrify the railway between Maidenhead and Heathrow junction that will allow for the introduction of new electric trains.
- Platform extensions at a number of locations including West Ealing, Southall and Hayes & Harlington stations in order to accommodate the longer GWR and Elizabeth line trains.
- Major improvements to the railway in Essex, to pave the way for the introduction of new, quieter, more reliable electric trains for TfL Rail passengers from 2017. These improvements include major remodelling of the track and sidings at both ends of Shenfield station and building a new platform for future Elizabeth line services.
Works allow introduction of more electric GWR services
Matthew White, Surface Director at Crossrail said: “The Elizabeth line will provide a step change in public transport for many thousands of people in outer London, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Essex – new trains, quicker journeys and better stations. The programme of work delivered by Network Rail over Christmas will provide immediate benefits for passengers as well as helping to prepare for the arrival of the new Elizabeth line services.”
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood added: “The Thames Valley is one of the most popular rail corridors in the UK. We have promised the current fleet would be upgraded to provide much needed additional capacity and faster journey times.
“We started to run our first new electric trains in September and with this Christmas work completed, on time, I am delighted to say that we can now deliver even more of those improvements – with a half hourly services between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington. The new trains will deliver consistent, high quality travel for customers across the Thames Valley, offering at-seat power sockets, air conditioning, extra luggage space and free WiFi for customers.”