More Bakerloo and London Overground upgrades for passengers

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Passengers using the Bakerloo line and London Overground are being advised to plan their journeys in advance of further major improvements to both rail routes next month.

Railway engineers will upgrade a 17-mile stretch of railway in north London between Saturday 11 and Sunday 19 February to improve journey times and reliability in future.

The scale of the work means the Bakerloo line between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone and the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction will be closed for nine days.

Passengers are being advised to plan ahead by checking TfL travel tools, including TfL GoJourney Planner and the TfL website www.tfl.gov.uk/bakerloo-overground.

The improvements in February will include:

  • Installing 7,000 modern concrete sleepers in place of wooden ones dating back to the 1950s
  • Replacing 28km of cabling for signals – traffic lights for trains
  • Structural improvements to five stations* including platform resurfacing and roof canopy maintenance
  • Renewing the track at Willesden and Queen’s Park
  • Upgrading the power supply for London Underground and Overground trains
  • Carrying out signal maintenance at Watford Junction

It follows the successful completion of similar upgrades to a 17-mile stretch of the same lines in December.

Network Rail and Transport for London will once again work collaboratively throughout the latest closure, with engineers supported by using London Underground equipment, trains, drivers and resources, saving both time and taxpayers’ money.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “The previous partnership working shows how the rail industry is committed to improving rail journeys for passengers. Once again we’re returning to overhaul equipment on the Bakerloo Line and London Underground with that shared goal our total focus.

I appreciate that doing this essential work over consecutive days will be disruptive for passengers so I’d urge people to keep in mind the line between Euston and Watford will be closed and to check National Rail Enquiries and TfL for alternative public transport options in and out of the capital.”

Between Saturday 11 and Sunday 19 February, Transport for London passengers affected by the upgrades can complete their journeys using local bus routes and rail replacement bus services to reach their destination or to connect with alternative rail routes, including the nearby Metropolitan or Jubilee lines**.

Geoff Hobbs, director of public transport service planning for TfL, said: “Work is continuing on essential track renewal that will help ensure our customers’ journeys are more reliable in the future.  Network Rail and Transport for London continue to work collaboratively on these improvements to ensure they can be delivered as quickly as possible and helping minimise the impact for our customers.

“We strongly advise our customers to use TfL’s Journey Planner or the TfL Go app to plan their journeys in advance during these essential closures.”

Closing the railway for consecutive days means that teams can carry out multiple complex projects at once which would otherwise take years of weekend or overnight working.

For instance, the sleeper replacements could have taken between 7-8 years of midweek overnight shifts to get done.

For the 28km signal cable replacement, it’s estimated five years of work is being condensed into this seven-day-closure.

Meanwhile, Transport for London is advising passengers about upcoming strike action on the Bakerloo line – for more details visit: www.tfl.gov.uk/strikes

Photo credit: Network Rail

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