Rail bosses promise service upgrades
Festive Crossrail work was completed on time
WORK on train lines in Hillingdon and Ealing was completed at Christmas as part of the Crossrail project with London Paddington closing for six days.
Assurances have been made to passengers that rail services will improve as a result.
The work is set to allow for the use of more electric Great Western Railway (GWR) services and will also help launch the Elizabeth line between Reading and Heathrow across London.
Christmas marked the biggest single Network Rail engineering operation for Crossrail, with major works completed in London, Berkshire and Essex.
More than 4,000 workers carried out 330,000 hours of work over 10 days.
Programme director for Crossrail at Network Rail, Matthew Steele, said: “Successful completion of these Christmas works was vital to delivering the Elizabeth line. As part of our railway upgrade plan they will benefit passengers by improving reliability, increasing capacity and enabling the introduction of new rolling stock with more seats and offering faster journeys.
“I would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience whilst we carried out our work.”
The improvements over Christmas include the opening of a second ramp of the Stockley Flyover at Heathrow junction and a new ‘diveunder’ at Acton.
These will be used by GWR and Heathrow Express trains and will add capacity and improve reliability.
Other work included opening the bay platform and junction at Hayes and Harlington, meaning GWR can bring in more trains and increase services from Paddington to Hayes to every half hour.
There were also platform extensions at stations including West Ealing, Southall, and Hayes and Harlington, to accommodate longer GWR and Elizabeth line trains.
Mark managing Hopwood, director of GWR, said: “We started to run our first electric trains in September and with this work completed on time, I am delighted to say we can now deliver even more of those improvements – with halfhourly services between London Paddington and Hayes and Harlington.
“The new trains will deliver consistent, highquality travel for customers across the Thames Valley, offering at-seat power sockets, air conditioning, extra luggage space and free WiFi.”
There was no service in or out of Paddington mainline station between December 24 and 29 while work was carried out.
A reduced timetable was in place from December 30 until January 2 and between Christmas Eve and December 29 there were no trains between Paddington and Ealing Broadway.
Crossrail is a new railway for London and the south east, running from Reading and Heathrow through 42km of tunnels under London to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood in south east London. The £14.8 billion project began in 2009 and is due to be completed next year.
MEN AT WORK: Staff at work on the Elizabeth line, part of the £14.8 billion Crossrail project