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Major Crossrail improvement works delivered over Christmas and New Year

By Nick Mann

Major Crossrail improvement works delivered over Christmas and New Year

A major programme of improvements to prepare the existing railway for Crossrail has been delivered by Network Rail over the Christmas period in outer London, Berkshire and Essex.

More than 3,000 workers were out on the railway over a ten day period delivering £60m of upgrades, including: 

  • Major track and signalling work at locations including Maidenhead, Acton, Old Oak Common, Stockley and Gidea Park to increase capacity and improve the reliability of the railway
  • Station upgrades at a number of locations including Southall, Hayes & Harlington, West Ealing, Forest Gate and Gidea Park.
  • Work to electrify the railway in west London and Berkshire, paving the way for the introduction of new, quicker, quieter, more reliable electric trains
  • Upgrades to overhead electric wires in east London and Essex.

Matthew Steele, Crossrail Programme Director at Network Rail, said: “We have been planning this huge package of upgrade work for many months - getting it done on time is down to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. We know that our upgrade work can at times be disruptive, so I would like to thank passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience during the Christmas period. This work, which is part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, is vital to delivering quicker journeys, improved stations and better connections for Crossrail and will bring huge benefits to the communities through which the route runs.”

Matthew White, Surface Director at Crossrail said: “Crossrail will provide a step change in public transport for many thousands of people in outer London, Berkshire and Essex. Around three quarters of the Crossrail route will run above ground on the existing rail network and the improvements that have been delivered by Network Rail over Christmas are a crucial part of the successful delivery of the new railway."

Key facts and figures

  • 1.5km of new track laid
  • 26 km of new or adjusted overhead wires
  • 11,000 tonnes of ballast
  • 142 new structures to carry overhead wires
  • 2 new footbridges installed
  • 177 machines and 23 cranes used

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