Rail bosses prom­ise ser­vice up­grades

Fes­tive Cross­rail work was com­pleted on time

Uxbridge Gazette - - NEWS - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

Pic­tures: Dan Kit­wood/Getty Images

MEN AT WORK: Staff at work on the El­iz­a­beth line, part of the £14.8 bil­lion Cross­rail project

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