Latest Rail News

25.07.16

‘Massive engineering challenge’ at Acton underpass complete

A new dive-under to allow passenger services to pass under freight trains at Acton, being built by Network Rail as part of Crossrail and hailed as a “massive engineering challenge”, has been successfully completed.

Work on the underpass began in October 2013 and involved Network Rail engineers excavating more than 34,000 tonnes of earth from a 5m-wide tunnel while freight trains passed on one side of them and passenger trains passed on another.

The underpass is designed to overcome the current delays at Acton, where passenger trains are held up so that trains can enter and leave a nearby freight yard, by allowing Paddington-bound trains to pass under freight trains.

Matthew Steele, Crossrail programme director at Network Rail, said: “This is another great achievement as part of Network Rail’s work on the Crossrail programme. Constructing the dive-under while trains continued to operate on either side of the worksite has been a massive engineering challenge.

“We will now work to ensure that the final elements of the dive-under are put into place so that trains can begin to use it from the start of 2017.”

Constructing the underpass required nearly 40,000 tonnes of concrete and the installation of more than 1,400 piled foundations and 730 metres of track.

Electric overhead wires and signals will now be installed in the underpass before test trains are introduced at the end of the year and the underpass comes into operation at the beginning of 2017.

Acton Main Line station is also due to receive a set of upgrades to prepare it for the arrival of Crossrail, including platform extensions and a new ticket hall.

(Image c. Crossrail)

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