Replacing the overhead wires between London Liverpool Street, Chelmsford and Southend Victoria.
This £295m project to replace 448km of overhead wires on the Great Eastern and Southend Victoria lines will improve reliability for passengers travelling from Norwich and Southend Victoria to London. The new wires will 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 448km 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 2020, 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
Contact us about our OLE renewals programme
If you’re interested in finding out more about our programme to replace overhead wires, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.