Network Rail is to undertake its biggest Christmas investment programme yet at the end of the month.
Major projects being delivered over the holiday period include Crossrail West, where work will start on Christmas Eve between Old Oak Common, Stockley, Hayes, Acton and Maidenhead.
There will also be significant track upgrades to support Crossrail East, with work impacting the Great Eastern main line. This includes continuation of the £250M job to replace overhead wires between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. It also includes work to remodel the track and provide an extra platform at Shenfield for future Elizabeth line services. Shenfield platform work will continue until May 2017.
In south London, platforms 1 to 4 at London Bridge station have been demolished to allow construction of the final part of the street-level concourse. Over Christmas and New Year, platform reconstruction will continue, as will work on the new concourse. This will open in January 2018. The Bermondsey dive under will be brought into use over the Christmas weekend, and at New Cross station engineers will replace the points, installing new track and upgrading the power supply.
In Kent, the drainage system on the Sevenoaks tunnel will also be replaced and 13 ventilation shafts will be lined.
At Manchester’s Ordsall Chord, contractors will reconfigure the existing railway between Eccles and Deansgate, Eccles and Manchester Victoria and Deansgate and Salford Crescent stations. Other work includes the installation of two new bridges and renovation of one existing bridge on Water Street, the widening of Castlefield viaduct and the installation of a new track layout at Ordsall Lane. There will also be signalling improvements as well as constructing new overhead line equipment.
In Cardiff, new signalling and tracks will be brought into service.
“A bank holiday represents a unique opportunity; as the railways are quieter – 50% fewer travellers – we’re able to close small parts of it and carry out much larger set-pieces of engineering such as lifting an entire bridge into place – something we could never do during our ‘business as usual’ engineering windows throughout a normal week,” said a Network Rail spokesman.