Wednesday 14 Mar 2018
New track installed in the Lee Valley will allow two extra trains per hour
New video footage shows the installation of the first sections of a new track on the West Anglia main line as part of Network Rail’s £170m Lee Valley Rail programme. The project has reached a key milestone with over 3km of track installed on what will become the third line between Lea Bridge and the new Meridian Water station, allowing two additional trains per hour.
The new track will provide much needed extra capacity on a congested section of the West Anglia main line, not only allowing more trains to run, but also reducing delays for passengers travelling between Cheshunt and Stratford. Due to be complete in 2019, the scheme will unlock sites for housing development and act as a catalyst for regeneration in the London boroughs of Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forrest.
The laying of the track was overseen by Network Rail and principal contractor, VolkerFitzpatrick and involved using two Kirow cranes to install over 3km of track over two weekends. Once the entire track is installed it will stretch for over 5.5km and will allow a service of three trains per hour during peak times between Stratford and Meridian Water.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Successfully delivering this key milestone takes us a step closer to unlocking more capacity on the West Anglia main line and boosting economic growth in north London. The scheme is a great example of how improvements in rail and regeneration go hand-in-hand, with Enfield Council planning to deliver a £6 billion regeneration project, including 10,000 new homes and creating thousands of new jobs next to the new Meridian Water station.”
Councillor Alan Sitkin, Cabinet Member for Economic Regeneration & Business Development at Enfield Council, said: “The new station at Meridian Water will unlock this once in a generation opportunity to provide thousands of new homes and jobs for Enfield, and significant benefits for the local community.The new station is due to open in 2019, and at its peak, is expected to serve up to four million passengers a year – creating a well-connected neighbourhood and demonstrating real progress for this significant regeneration programme.”
John Cox, managing director of VolkerFitzpatrick’s rail division, said: “We are delighted to be working with Network Rail on this project, as part of the Anglia Route Collaboration. The VolkerFitzpatrick team worked safely and efficiently, over two weekends, to complete the track installation to a high standard. I am proud of their dedication and hard work, in delivering this key milestone.”
Jamie Burles, managing director, Greater Anglia, said: “This project is a great example of how Network Rail and Greater Anglia are working together, transforming and modernising the railway in our region. We are replacing all of our trains with brand new trains which will start to come into service when this new line and station opens, and all be in place by the end of 2020. As engineering works continue, we’d like to thank customers for their patience and remind them to check before they travel.”
Representing a new model for funding, the Lee Valley Rail programme is funded by several third parties and public sector bodies, including the UK Government, the Mayor of London, the London Economic Action Partnership (now known as “LEAP”), Transport for London, and Enfield and Haringey Councils.
The funding partners and Network Rail are working together to deliver benefits in the north London corridor which will improve rail services and maximise economic growth, jobs and housing opportunities. The programme accommodates some of the proposed plans for Crossrail 2, including the active provision of a fourth platform at Meridian Water station.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.