Tuesday 18 Apr 2017
Easter rail upgrades deliver reliability boost for passengers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex
Key reliability improvements have been made on the main line from Norwich to London this Easter while headway was made on a major milestone on the Crossrail project.
Network Rail’s orange army spent 5,000 hours installing 5.6km wire at Seven Kings as part of major investment to improve reliability on the busy line from Norwich to London. New, more durable, heat-resistant wires that will not sag in hot weather have been installed so that heat-related speed restrictions that delay trains in the summer can be lifted, meaning fewer delays for passengers all the way up to Norwich.
Work on the Crossrail project also continued, over 270 metres of track was renewed at Pudding Mill Lane, between Stratford and London Liverpool Street, in preparation for its connection to the Elizabeth line tunnel entrance. New signalling equipment that was installed at Shenfield during February and March was also tested ahead of the introduction of new walk-through, air-conditioned trains on the TfL Rail line from late May. Work also progressed to introduce new lifts for step free access at stations along the route including Harold Wood and Forest Gate.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we’ve carried out a huge package of work since the start of the year, and over the Easter weekend, that will deliver a more modern and reliable railway for millions of passengers who use this line day in day out. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience and remind those travelling over the May Bank Holidays to check ahead how their journeys will be affected while we continue this much needed investment.”
Jamie Burles, managing director of Greater Anglia, said: “We appreciate the disruption engineering causes to our customers, but we do our best to make sure they can still complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus. Ultimately this work will result in a much better railway for all of us in East Anglia.”
Further work will take place over the May Bank Holidays to install a further 2km of new wire at Seven Kings and 3km at Brentwood and passengers are urged to check in advance how their journey will be affected.
Greater Anglia and TfL Rail passengers are reminded to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.