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Rail bridges demolished over Christmas for new Crossrail trains

By Nick Mann

Three rail bridges in Slough and Hillingdon were demolished over the Christmas break as part of preparations for the arrival of new electric Crossrail trains.

When Crossrail opens, residents to the west of London will benefit from new high frequency services allowing passengers as far west as Maidenhead to travel through central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

The new Crossrail trains will be quieter, smoother and more reliable than the existing diesel suburban trains. However, a number of existing rail bridges need to be removed and rebuilt to ensure that they provide clearance for the overhead electric equipment that will be needed.

Network Rail has demolished the Middlegreen Road and Trenches bridges in Slough and the Old Stockley Road Bridge in Hillingdon and will be installing new bridges at Easter. Diversions have been put in place and a temporary footbridge installed next to Middlegreen Road Bridge. The new Horton Bridge, also in Hillingdon, has been installed alongside the existing one, which will be demolished at Easter. 

Significant efforts have been made to ensure that disruption for residents and local traffic is kept to an absolute minimum for the duration of the works.

Jorge Mendonça, Network Rail’s Crossrail Programme Director said: “After months of planning, our Christmas bridge works in Slough and Hillingdon were completed on time and with as little disruption to residents as possible. This marks an important step for our Crossrail works, as we prepare to electrify the route, providing passengers with an improved and more reliable service.”  

Matthew White, Crossrail’s Surface Director said: “Crossrail will transform public transport, making it quicker and easier for people to get to a range of destinations across London and the south east. Residents in west London and Berkshire will benefit from new trains, frequent services and better stations as part of this multi billion pound project to improve rail services in and around the capital.”

Ends

For further information contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email pressoffice@crossrail.co.uk

Notes to editors:

 Diversion Routes

Middlegreen Road Bridge, Slough: The bridge is closed to traffic until late April 2013. During this time a diversion will be put in place via St Mary’s Road. A temporary footbridge for pedestrians and cyclists has been provided at Middlegreen Road to maintain pedestrian access during the closure. For safety reasons the footbridge remained closed during the track possession at Christmas and will remain closed during the possession at Easter.

Trenches Bridge, Slough: The footbridge is closed until May 2013. During this time, pedestrians and cyclists approaching from the south will be diverted onto Maryside to St Mary’s Road. They will be able to follow a towpath alongside the Grand Union Canal back to the northern part of Trenches Bridge.

Horton Bridge, Hillingdon: The new bridge will be open and operational before the old bridge is demolished. This means pedestrians will have access across the railway at all times. The new bridge may need to be closed over Easter when the old bridge is being demolished. If this is necessary, Network Rail will contact residents with dates and the pedestrian diversion route.

Old Stockley Road Bridge, Hillingdon: Vehicles are being permanently diverted north along Stockley Road onto Horton Road, along Ironbridge Road North and then Ironbridge Road South. Pedestrians and cyclists will also be diverted over Stockley Road until the new bridge opens in May 2013.

About Crossrail

The Crossrail route will pass through 37 stations and run 118 km (73 miles) from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels below central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Network Rail is a key partner in Crossrail. Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network. Its work will integrate Crossrail with the national rail network. The work includes upgrading 43 miles of track, improving 27 stations, and work on 20 bridges.