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Halfway there for Crossrail surface works

Six years into the project and with another four left until trains hit the capital, Crossrail surface works have today reached the halfway mark..

Although these works take only a £2.3bn slice of the overall £15bn Crossrail funding, three-quarters of the project’s 100km-plus route will run above the ground on the existing rail network through outer London, Berkshire and Essex.

Surface works have been therefore vital to add more than 30 miles of new track to increase capacity on the network, as well as deliver a new flyover in Hillingdon and a new dive-under tunnel beneath the railway at Acton.

Contstruction of new diveunder at Acton 210013Construction the new dive-under at Acton

They also include improvement works at 29 stations, such as extending platforms in 16 locations to accommodate the longer trains and, in nine cases, completely rebuilding the site to provide larger and brighter ticket halls.

Network Rail’s so-called ‘orange army’ will also install modernised signalling systems to increase service reliability and construct new sidings to stable Crossrail trains overnight.

But a vital element of surface works is also the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (GWML) in west London and Berkshire which, as widely reported, is not on schedule in terms of its timescale or budget.

Yet some GWML works have already been carried out, including the demolition and replacement of six bridges over the railway in Slough and South Bucks.

It’s also been less than a year since Network Rail said surface works were one-third complete in December 2014. Take a look at what has been completed since then:

West London and Berkshire

East London and Essex

  • Opening an interim station at Abbey Wood, as well as demolishing the old one. Work has also begun to construct a new station, with more than a mile of new track already installed
  • Working to improve a number of stations, including by providing new lifts and longer platforms
  • Carrying out test track upgrades at Brentwood and Chadwell

New tracks in Abbey Wood 196765New tracks in Abbey Wood


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