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Crossrail’s surface works one-third complete

Work on Crossrail’s surface section in outer London, Berkshire and Essex is now one-third complete.

The £2.3bn upgrade of the existing rail network for Crossrail is being undertaken by Network Rail. Highlights of the work to date include the installation of the Stockley flyover in Hillingdon, which will improve links and increase capacity between Heathrow and central London from 2018. Work has also started on the new dive-under at Acton, which will be completed next year.

Engineers have demolished and replaced four bridges in west London and Slough and completed piling work between Hillingdon and Maidenhead ahead of the installation of overhead electric wires for Crossrail. Extensive track works across the route and preparations for the installation of two new tracks to link Abbey Wood to the Crossrail tunnels at Plumstead have also been carried out.

476 Thorney Lane Bridge launch  159469

Matthew Steele, Crossrail programme director at Network Rail said: “Network Rail is upgrading stations, track, signalling and installing new overhead power supplies across the route to enable the new trains to run. We are also building a brand new station at Abbey Wood as well as delivering new flyovers to ease congestion between London and Heathrow airport. As we pass through this milestone the work is on schedule and within budget, so well done to everyone working within the combined Crossrail, Network Rail and supply chain team.”

The Christmas and New Year period will be the busiest yet for Crossrail’s surface section. Amongst a wide programme of works, bridges at Slough and Iver will be demolished, the new flyover at Stockley will be commissioned and a turnback facility will be installed at Chadwell Heath.

Abbey Wood Track Works 171142

Major station improvements will step up in 2015 as part of the upgrade of the existing rail network for Crossrail. A number of stations in outer London will be completely rebuilt, providing passengers with brighter, more spacious ticket halls.

Across the surface section, more than 40 lifts will be installed to provide step free access at every station and platforms at 16 stations will be lengthened in preparation for the new, longer trains.

Demolition of Trenches bridge in Slough 57651

Matthew White, surface director at Crossrail said: “A huge amount of work has already been carried out to prepare the existing railway for the arrival of new services. Network Rail is now gearing up for a busy time over Christmas and New Year and in 2015 major station improvements will step up.”

Transport for London (TfL) announced in July that MTR won the concession to operate Crossrail, beginning with the Shenfield to Liverpool Street services from May 2015. These services will not be branded as Crossrail, but instead as ‘TfL Rail’ at first. The London Reconnections blog has explained the thinking behind this decision in more detail.

Piling at Acton 171143

TfL will also put in place a phased programme of deep cleaning and painting the stations and introducing help points, CCTV, gate lines and better lighting and customer information.

Ahead of Crossrail’s new Bombardier-built Class 345s arriving on the Shenfield to Liverpool Street services in 2017, TfL plans to clean up the existing Class 315s and refresh them inside and out within six months of the transfer.

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