ECML dive-un­der

Rail (UK) - - Contents - Paul Stephen As­sis­tant Fea­tures Ed­i­tor paul.stephen@bauer­me­

Net­work Rail pre­pares to be­gin work on £200m grade-sep­a­rated junc­tion on the East Coast Main Line near Peter­bor­ough.

NET­WORK Rail is pre­par­ing to be­gin work on a new grade­sep­a­rated junc­tion on the East Coast Main Line.

The £200 mil­lion project will di­rectly link the Stam­ford lines and the Great North­ern-Great Eastern lines at Wer­ring­ton Junc­tion to the north of Peter­bor­ough, via a 600me­tre dive-un­der.

The dive-un­der will en­able slow­mov­ing freight trains to travel on a ded­i­cated route be­neath the ECML, elim­i­nat­ing the cur­rent need for them to tra­verse the three run­ning lines of the ECML on the level.

It will re­duce de­lays to pas­sen­ger ser­vices and in­crease the num­ber of long-dis­tance high-speed train paths be­tween Lon­don and Don­caster from six to eight.

Hav­ing al­ready ac­cepted the full busi­ness case in June, Sec­re­tary of State for Trans­port Chris Grayling au­tho­rised the project on Au­gust 3 when NR’s ap­pli­ca­tion for a Trans­port and Works Act Or­der was ap­proved.

The TWAO had been sub­mit­ted in 2016, fol­low­ing ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion on a range of de­sign op­tions with the gen­eral pub­lic and other prin­ci­pal stake­hold­ers - in­clud­ing Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil and the En­vi­ron­ment Agency. A week-long pub­lic in­quiry was also held in Novem­ber 2017, where the project re­ceived just three ob­jec­tions.

In or­der to ac­com­mo­date the dive-un­der, the TWAO au­tho­rises NR to slew the Stam­ford lines by ap­prox­i­mately 25 me­tres to the west, where they will sit on top of the newly cul­verted Brook Drain wa­ter­course.

Cock Lane foot­bridge will also need to be re­placed by a new truss bridge, which will be length­ened in or­der to span the wi­dened align­ment.

One lo­cal road will re­quire re-di­rect­ing so that the new rail link can utilise an ex­ist­ing bridge span be­neath the A15, while three res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties have been vol­un­tar­ily pur­chased.

NR’s main con­trac­tor for the project is Mor­gan Sin­dall. Sig­nalling work will be com­pleted by Siemens and track­work by the S&C North Al­liance, which will op­er­ate to­gether in a hub and spoke model.

Deveg­e­ta­tion has al­ready com­menced in the area, while work com­pounds and ac­cess roads are due to be built be­fore the end of the year (when the main con­struc­tion se­quence is ex­pected to be­gin). The dive-un­der is ex­pected to en­ter ser­vice in 2021.

NR told RAIL that a nine-day clo­sure of the ECML would be re­quired to com­plete the works, dur­ing which time only a lim­ited ser­vice would be avail­able. Fur­ther dis­rup­tive pos­ses­sions would also be needed overnight and at

week­ends, although ex­act dates and de­tails are still be­ing dis­cussed with in­di­vid­ual train op­er­at­ing com­pa­nies.

NR’s Lon­don North Eastern and East Mid­lands Route Manag­ing Di­rec­tor Rob McIn­tosh said: “This is a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment into the rail­way in this area which, when cou­pled with other up­grades on this route, will have wide­spread ben­e­fits for those trav­el­ling be­tween Lon­don and the North through an in­creased ca­pac­ity of 33%.

“This vi­tal up­grade will en­sure we can pro­vide an im­proved ser­vice for pas­sen­gers, and cre­ate a more mod­ern, re­li­able and re­silient rail­way suit­able to meet the needs of the com­mu­ni­ties and economies our rail­way serves.”


An East Mid­lands Trains Liver­pool Lime Street-Nor­wich ser­vice passes Wer­ring­ton Junc­tion on Oc­to­ber 24. Look­ing north west from Cock Lane foot­bridge, the align­ment will be wi­dened here to ac­com­mo­date a new dive-un­der from the Stam­ford lines on the left to the Great North­ern Great Eastern lines that curve away from the East Coast Main Line to­wards the top of the pic­ture.

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