Cross­rail noise piles on mis­ery for rest of the year

Net­work Rail ‘do­ing all they can’ to re­duce im­pact on lo­cals

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

HILLING­DON res­i­dents may face night-time noise for the rest of the YEAR, as Net­work Rail elec­tri­fies the rail­way line ahead of the in­tro­duc­tion of Cross­rail.

For the last year, Net­work Rail has been car­ry­ing out this work in Hilling­don, Slough, South Bucks and Maiden­head, but more work now needs to take place, par­tic­u­larly around the new fly­over at Stock­ley at the junc­tion to Heathrow Air­port.

The work is part of the Cross­rail pro­gramme to elec­trify the Great The Uxbridge Gazette Se­ries Western Main Line in prepa­ra­tion for the in­tro­duc­tion of new, qui­eter and more re­li­able trains for the El­iz­a­beth line and Great Western ser­vices.

The work forms part of Net­work Rail’s Rail­way Up­grade Plan to pro­vide a big­ger, bet­ter, more re­li­able rail­way for pas­sen­gers and will in­volve in­stalling the foun­da­tions for the over­head lines by driv­ing them into the ground. This process, known as ‘pil­ing’, can be noisy.

Wher­ever pos­si­ble a rel­a­tively quiet method of foun­da­tion in­stal­la­tion is used, Net­work Rail says.

How­ever, where the ground con­di­tions are more chal­leng­ing, a nois­ier method may need to be used to drive some of the piles into the ground.

Rail pas­sen­gers were re­cently praised for their pa­tience af­ter bank hol­i­day dis­rup­tion, and af­ter £30m worth of work was car­ried out dur­ing the Easter break.

Pro­gramme di­rec­tor for Cross­rail at Net­work Rail, Matthew Steele, apol­o­gised in ad­vance for any in­con­ve­nience that the work may cause.

He said: “We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to re­duce the im­pact on lo­cal peo­ple and to make sure that they know about work that is go­ing to af­fect them.

“In­stalling th­ese foun­da­tions is an es­sen­tial part of our work and means the res­i­dents of Hilling­don and the sur­round­ing area are a step closer to the longterm ben­e­fits that elec­tri­fi­ca­tion will bring.

“Th­ese in­clude more trains that can carry more peo­ple and less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the rail­way.”

For safety rea­sons the noisy work has to take place when trains aren’t run­ning, which tends to be at night.

Net­work Rail has gained con­sent from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties along the route and is work­ing hard to make sure that lo­cal peo­ple are in­formed about work that will af­fect them.

This in­cludes let­ters to those who live close to the rail­way and fol­low-up vis­its from Net­work Rail rep­re­sen­ta­tives, to en­able res­i­dents to find out more and ask any ques­tions.

Matthew White, sur­face di­rec­tor at Cross­rail, said: “The El­iz­a­beth line will pro­vide a step change in public trans­port for lo­cal peo­ple – quicker jour­neys, bet­ter sta­tions and new trains.

“The elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of this sec­tion of the track is a vi­tal part of the Cross­rail project’s up­grades and will de­liver qui­eter, greener and more re­li­able ser­vices for peo­ple in the lo­cal area.”

Once the foun­da­tions are com­plete, the gantries can be erected and the over­head power lines in­stalled be­tween the struc­tures.

The work is ex­pected to last un­til the end of the year be­tween Hayes in Hilling­don and Maiden­head.

How­ever, at most, line­side res­i­dents should only be dis­turbed on a small num­ber of oc­ca­sions dur­ing that pe­riod.

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