Replacing the overhead wires between Chelmsford and London Liverpool Street
This £250m project to replace 320km of overhead wires on the Great Eastern Main Line will improve reliability for passengers travelling from Norwich to London and significantly reduce the impact of heat-related disruption during the summer when overhead wires sag and speed restrictions are imposed.
The current wiring along the route was installed in the 1950s. These old wires sag in hot weather as temperatures on the tracks can be up to 20 degrees hotter than air temperatures.
This means we have to impose temporary speed restrictions to prevent the trains from damaging the wires and causing further cancellations to services.
Reducing disruption – during and after works
We’re combating this by installing 320km of new, modern wires, which keep the overhead lines taut at all times, in all temperatures.
This means fewer heat-related temporary speed restrictions, fewer delays/cancellations and improved reliability for passengers.
We can only do this when the railway is shut, so we’re reducing disruption by making sure the majority of works are done at the same time as Crossrail project works.
The project is due for completion in 2019, but with each installation the benefits are realised immediately; the potential for damage is reduced and passengers are far less likely to experience heat-related delays in summer.
Check before you travel
Works will take place during Christmas and at weekends throughout 2017. Details will be promoted nearer the time, but for the latest information you should always consult National Rail Enquiries.