We’re installing a new overhead wiring system from Fenchurch Street to Hornchurch and Pitsea along the Tilbury Loop Line to improve reliability for passengers

The current Mk1 overhead line equipment (OLE) system was installed on this section of the line over 50 years ago. This upgrade will improve the system and bring it in line with 21st century standards. From Fenchurch Street to Hornchurch and Pitsea, along the Tilbury Loop, 165 runs of wire will be installed to upgrade the OLE system. New foundations and structures will also be installed.

The red area of the map above shows where the OLE system will be upgraded.

Benefits of the programme

Delays can occur when a problem affects the OLE and they can be complex to resolve, requiring us to either stop or slow down services through the area. These works are a vital part of our strategy to provide a more reliable and efficient railway, putting our passengers first. The upgrade work will deliver:

  • A system that can adapt to different weather conditions which is particularly important in hot weather, meaning fewer delays and cancellations
  • A modern infrastructure system in line with 21st century standards
  • A more reliable and sustainable system which will require less maintenance, meaning less cost and disruption
  • Reduced likelihood of equipment failures and power outages

These improvements will benefit the growing number of passengers using the line for years to come.

When are we going to deliver this work?

Work is expected to start in Autumn 2020 with foundation installation, this is also called piling. Piling work causes additional noise, we’ll do everything possible to mitigate noise and inform local residents before the work starts.

Wiring and structure renewal is expected to start in the Pitsea area in May 2021 and will continue along the line until 2024.

Will this work affect train services?

To allow us to work on the track and overhead lines safely, there will be some disruption to services on selected weekends and bank holidays. We plan to complete the more complex works over the Christmas period in 2021, 2022 and 2023 to minimise disruption where possible.

Further details of the programme and rail replacement services will be available from this webpage in the coming months.

Contact us about our renewals programme

If you’re interested in finding out more about our programme to replace OLE equipment, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.