Cross­rail’s first sec­tion a ‘mile­stone’

Heathrow to cen­tral London £14.8bn link gets un­der way at the Stock­ley Fly­over bridge

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Zoe Drewett zoe.drewett@trin­i­tymir­

THE first sec­tion of track to be used by Cross­rail trains has been laid on the new Stock­ley Fly­over bridge.

The 120-me­tre long over­pass, in the very busy Heathrow Air­port Junc­tion area, close to Rigby Lane Civic Amenity site, in Hayes, will al­low ser­vices on the £14.8bil­lion Cross­rail route to op­er­ate to and from Heathrow.

Matthew White, sur­face di­rec­tor at Cross­rail said: “In­stalling the first sec­tion of Cross­rail track is a ma­jor mile­stone for the project.

“The fly­over at Stock­ley will pro­vide a vi­tal new link be­tween Heathrow and London, sig­nif­i­cantly im­prov­ing con­nec­tions be­tween the air­port and the West End, the City and Ca­nary Wharf.”

The fly­over will be used by Heathrow Ex­press and Heathrow Con­nect ser­vices from next year.

Built by Net­work Rail and build­ing firm Car­il­lion, it is the largest sin­gle span bridge to have been in­stalled any­where on the Great Western rail­way since the days of Brunel.

Matthew Steele, Cross­rail pro­gramme di­rec­tor at Net­work Rail said: “The Net­work Rail and Car­il­lion teams are re­ally proud to de­liver the first sec­tion of new rail­way for Cross­rail.

Once Cross­rail is op­er­a­tional, the brand new struc­ture will en­able us to in­crease the num­ber of rail ser­vices be­tween cen­tral London and Heathrow air­port.

“After four years of plan­ning, it is great to see this new in­fra­struc­ture be­ing brought into ser­vice. Well done to ev­ery­one in­volved.”

Cross­rail ser­vices be­tween Padding­ton and Heathrow will be­gin in 2018.

From 2019, the full route will open, al­low­ing pas­sen­gers to travel from Heathrow right through the cen­tre of the cap­i­tal with­out chang­ing trains.

Up to four Cross­rail trains an hour will link Heathrow with cen­tral London and beyond.

Pas­sen­gers will be able to reach Bond Street in 26 min­utes and Ca­nary Wharf in 40 min­utes. Cross­rail will pass through 40 sta­tions and run more than 100km from Read­ing and Heathrow in the west, through 21km twin-bore tun­nels be­low cen­tral London to Shen­field and Abbey Wood in the east.

n MILE­STONE: The first tracks on the Cross­rail route are laid at Stock­ley Fly­over Photo by Robby Whit­field

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