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  • Watford area renewals programme

    Working with train companies and specialist contractors, we're upgrading the infrastructure and signalling around Watford Junction to improve performance on the West Coast main line

  • Easter 2015 - thank you for your patience

    Over Easter, we demolished a rail-over-road bridge south of Watford Junction station and replaced it with a new bridge. The team also replaced track, signalling and junctions, and we made some essential repairs to two of the Watford tunnels to the north of the station.

    The work will increase reliablility and will allow trains to travel more quickly along that part of the route.

    Advance notice of work

    Orphanage Road, Watford

    Orphanage Road is closed to road traffic for 12 weeks until Friday 17 April.

    From Monday 23 February, there will be no pedestrian access. You can download details of alternative walking routes.

    The closure is to allow preparation for the installation of a new bridge.

    Why are we doing this work?

    Over the past 15 years, the number of trains using the West Coast main line has doubled - and it's getting busier. Much of the infrastructure around Watford dates from the 1960s and is becoming unreliable - it is a particularly heavily used section with trains running round the clock.

  • What work are we doing?

    We're replacing three critical junctions the north and south of Watford and renewing the signalling system in the area.

    We're also replacing the track crossovers with track that is easier to maintain, reducing future disruption.

    Fewer delays, better journeys

    We are:

    • Renewing all signalling between Kings Langley and Bushey to give more flexibility and a quicker return to normal service after disruption.
    • Installing 11 new gantries and 39 new signal posts.
    • Laying over 9 miles of new track, giving you a smoother journey.
    • Replacing 21,000 tonnes of ballast and 11,000 sleepers.
    • Modifying the overhead power lines to increase reliability.
    • Reconstructing Orphanage Road bridge at Watford to allow line speeds of 125 mph.
  • What has been done to date?

    Over the May and August 2014 closures our engineers:

    • Rebuilt two miles of track, requiring 14,000 tonnes of ballast, 5,900 new sleepers and 4 miles of new rail.
    • Replaced and re-commissioned four sets of new points.
    • Installed a further 11 points which will be commissioned at a later date and removed 8 redundant points.
    • Erected seven new signalling gantries and nine new signalling heads.
  • Watford Junction modernisation image gallery

    Modernisation moves on at Watford Junction

    New ballast goes in in August 2014

    Pressing on with the work over three weekends in August 2014

    All went on schedule during the August 2014 closures

    New track installed in August 2014 to allow for smoother and faster journeys