Major project to upgrade London to Norwich line enters second phase

Published on : Thursday, May 14, 2015

Network RailOne of Network Rail’s fleet of ‘high output’ machines will begin to upgrade the stretch of railway between Colchester and Shenfield from next week (Monday May 18),  as a major project to improve reliability on the line between London and Norwich enters its next phase.

 

 

Since January, the high output ballast cleaner, which renews the bed of stones the metal rails rest on, has been working between Norwich and Ipswich five nights a week. Every shift so far has been completed on time, renewing more than 14 miles of railway far more quickly and efficiently than traditional methods allow.

 

 

By using this technology, double the distance can be covered every night while trains are still running, avoiding long weekend closures.

 

 

From next week, the project will enter its second phase and the machine will move down the line carrying out vital work to provide a more reliable railway, reducing potential track problems, which could result in disruption.

 

 

As a result of this work, an amended timetable will operate on the line between London Liverpool Street and Norwich after 8.30pm on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and on some Sunday mornings at weekends from next week until the middle of October.

 

 

Richard Schofield, Network Rail route managing director, said: “Running a safe, reliable railway depends on the track being in good condition – not just the metal rails, but the foundations on which they sit too.

 

 

“This line is one of the busiest rail routes in the country and this upgrade is absolutely vital in our plans to deliver a more reliable service for tens of thousands of passengers. With this technology, we can renew the railway while trains are still running but there will be some changes to services, and we thank passengers in advance for their patience.”

 

 

Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “We will continue to work closely with Network Rail in doing all we can to minimise disruption to journeys while these works are taking place and we are grateful to our customers for their cooperation and understanding. This improvement work is important in helping to provide a better and more reliable railway for rail passengers using the Great Eastern Main Line.”

 

 

The following changes will apply as a result of the work:

 

• A reduced timetable will run from London Liverpool Street after 8.30pm for passengers travelling north of Shenfield on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This does not affect passengers travelling between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield.
• Although fewer services will run, the number of seats will remain the same throughout the evening with the use of different or longer trains.
• Journeys may take a bit longer as trains running alongside the work site, which is half a mile long, will travel at reduced speeds
• Some late evening London bound trains will have a bus replacement between Colchester and Witham until June 17. From June to the middle of October, the machine will be working between Witham and Shenfield.
• On some Sundays mornings, buses may replace trains between Colchester and Witham until mid-June and between Witham and Shenfield from June until the middle of October

 

 

Extra staff will be on duty during these periods to assist customers with information and when transferring to and from bus replacement services.

 

 

In November to the end of the year, the machine will return to the northern end of the line, working between Norwich and Stowmarket. In 2016 it will continue to work between London and Norwich and will also start working between Ely to Peterborough through the spring and summer.

 

 

In late 2016 and into 2017, Network Rail will start installing new track on the line between London and Norwich as it continues to upgrade the railway.

 

 

The high output machine scoops up the crushed rock, called ballast that the track sits on, before sieving out any small, broken pieces and replacing them with the same weight in fresh stone. This provides a safe, well-drained bed for the track to sit on and is absolutely vital to improving performance on this busy line.

 

Source:- Network Rail

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