Network Rail, on behalf of Crossrail, a major new railway that is under construction in the South East England, and which will link Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to Essex and Kent, via Greater London, has commenced the restoration of four bridges in Slough and Hillingdon, in readiness for the new electric train service.
The Crossrail railway link is currently being constructed across central London, and is expected to open in 2018, operating up to 24 trains per hour between Paddington and Whitechapel, during peak hours of service.
The new electric trains are intended to provide a faster, cleaner, smoother and more dependable train service than existing diesel suburban trains. However all bridges on the route must be cleared for the installation of over-head electric equipment. Middlegreen Road Bridge and Trenches Bridge in Slough, and Old Stockley Road Bridge and Horton Bridge in Hillingdon, will be renovated as part of the upgrade.
Network Rail will carry out the bridge replacement project on behalf of Crossrail, with a proposed completion date Easter 2013.
Jorge Mendonca, the Crossrail programme director for Network Rail, said, ‘Crossrail will transform the journeys of passengers who wish to travel into or across central London. The work we are undertaking on bridges across the western section of the route will not only enable new longer Crossrail trains to operate but is also an essential part of the programme to electrify the Great Western main line.
During Christmas and Easter we will be removing the old bridges and installing new ones. We’ve spent months preparing for this to ensure we complete the work with the least possible impact on residents.’
Crossrail will also include a major development at Paddington. The 320,000 sq ft development is located at the intersection of Bishop’s Bridge Road and the Grand Union Canal, and will include 15 storeys of office space, as well as retail outlets.
The building will provide access to Crossrail, National Rail and Hammersmith & City line services at Paddington.