The line between Ely and Peterborough reopens following major recovery operation
The line between Ely and Peterborough reopened on Monday 21 August following the completion of extensive repair work after a freight train derailed eight days earlier.
The incident occurred at approximately 14:40 on Monday 14 August, when 11 wagons of a 33 wagon freight train travelling north of Ely derailed, blocking the line and causing significant damage to the track. No one was injured but services between Peterborough and Cambridge to Stansted Airport and London were affected.
A team of Network Rail engineers and specialists began a major recovery operation to lift the derailed wagons, some of which weighted as much as 106 tonnes, off the track with a rail crane. The recovery operation was completed on Thursday afternoon.
The broken rails were then cleared from the site and engineers replaced nearly ¼ mile of track, which was completed over the weekend ready for services to resume on Monday.
Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “Our engineers and specialist teams have worked tirelessly over the last week to recover the derailed wagons and carry out major repair work so that services can resume today as planned.”
August has been an unusual month for train derailments. A train derailed outside London Waterloo station as it was pulling away from the platform early on 15 August. On the same day, a passenger train hit the buffers at King’s Cross station while on Sunday 20th the rear power car of a GWR train bound for Penzance partially left the track as it departed from Paddington station.
London Overground gets the green light for extension to Barking Riverside
Transport for London has been given the go ahead, by the Secretary of State for Transport, to start construction on a 4.5km extension of the Gospel Oak to Barking line. The extension will deliver London Overground services to a new station for the Barking Riverside community. Construction is due to begin in summer 2018 and train services should commence in late 2021.
Some 10,800 new homes, along with a new school and healthcare facilities, district centre with commercial and leisure facilities are to be constructed at Barking Riverside, a 180-hectare brownfield site on the northern banks of the River Thames.
Operating with four trains an hour, the line will feature the latest state-of- the-art electric London Overground trains that feature airconditioning and walk-through carriages for added customer comfort.
The extension is fully funded, with £172m of the £263m cost being met by the developers, Barking Riverside Limited, and the remainder will partially come from TfL’s Growth Fund, which funds schemes that have direct impact on unlocking housing and employment growth.
Twin steel cascades complete the central Ordsall Chord bridge
The stunning centre piece of the Ordsall Chord, a new network arch bridge, has been completed with the installation of two huge steel cascades.
The Ordsall Chord is 300m of track and a series of new bridges and viaducts designed by BDP in conjunction with engineers from Parsons Brinkerhoff, Aecom and Mott MacDonald. When finished in December 2017 it will link Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria stations for the first time and provide new and direct links from the north to Manchester Airport.
Peter Jenkins, head of transport for the BDP worldwide and designer of the bridge, explains the vision of the flowing cascade: “The overall concept for the bridges is that of a continual, flowing ribbon which incorporates individual structures into a single over-arching identity. This latest piece of steelwork connects the River Irwell and Trinity Way bridges with a twisting, sinuous form which smoothly brings the concept of the structure to fruition. The development has been a true team effort from the original sketch through to construction, integrating different people and different tools to achieve the vision.”
Earlier this year, two slender 89m long arches were lifted and fixed into position on the bridge. The single-span network arch bridge, weighing 1,600-tonnes, is the second-longest in the world to carry twin heavy-rail tracks and the first network arch bridge in the UK.
Phase 1 of Southend Victoria upgrades to be completed early
The first phase of major reliability improvements on the Southend Victoria line looks set to be completed one month ahead of schedule, allowing the line to reopen for late night services from 6 November.
The work is part of a £46m project to install a new overhead wiring system between Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street. The existing wires and structures are some of the oldest in the country and date back to the 1950s. During hot weather the wires sag, and speed restrictions have to be imposed to protect them from damage by trains. The replacement wires will be controlled by a system of weights, to keep them taut at all times, freeing trains to travel at their normal speeds.
Overnight working was introduced in May this year to accelerate the programme, and since then over 100 structures have been installed to carry the new overhead wires. This phase of the work was originally planned to complete in December, but the work has been running ahead of schedule.
Installation of the new overhead wires between Shenfield and Wickford will take place from 3 September until 22 October.
Night Tube numbers
Figures released by London First and EY reveal that the Night Tube has had nearly 8m journeys during its first year. The report claims it has boosted London’s economy by £171m, is supporting more than 3,600 jobs, and is likely add £138m/ year to the city’s economy over the next 30 years, well ahead of the £77m/ year originally forecast.
Rail Hub for Midlands
Network Rail has published the West Midlands and Chilterns Route Study, proposing a raft of rail upgrades for the Midlands. At their heart lies a new Midlands Rail Hub which includes a series of upgrades to the network around central Birmingham. In the long term the upgrades should maximise access to the new HS2 station at Curzon Street.
Bolton bridge collapse
On 17 August a burst water pipe caused a section of Moses Gate bridge in Bolton to collapse onto the railway track and created a hole in the road above. The line between Bolton and Manchester was closed for two weeks while engineers made the bridge and highway safe. A reduced train service will be running for a further 6 weeks while repairs are completed.
Edinburgh – Glasgow goes live
Overhead power cables on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow line will go live for testing from 2 September, ready for the introduction of new electric trains later this year. Network Rail has delivered over 100,000 safety leaflets to lineside communities, posted messages through social media, and worked with industry partners in schools and through local groups to take the safety message into the community.
Bogie parts for Canada
William Cook Rail has won an export order to supply critical cast steel bogie components for Alstom Citadis Spirit light rail vehicles which are destined for service in Ottawa, Canada. The initial order is for 4 train sets and follow-up orders could cover many more trains. The parts will be precision engineered at the company’s new £15m rail plant in Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Kuala Lumpur line opens
The second phase of the MYR21bn (£4bn) Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit line in Malaysia has begun operating. The 51km line features 31 stations and serves the Klang Valley area of Kuala Lumpur. In the capital, there are 9.5km of tunnels with seven underground stations and two portals linking the above ground track to the underground.
8 year deal in Sweden
Alstom has signed an 8 year contract with Arriva to provide maintenance for the complete fleet of 99 Alstom Coradia Nordic regional trains, for Skånetrafiken in Sweden. As part of the €135m contract, Alstom will use cutting-edge digital tools for predictive maintenance, and the gathering of train data. Works will be carried out at the depot in Raus, Helsingborg and operations are due to start in December 2018.
Thailand win for Bombardier
Bombardier has won contracts to design and assist with the construction of two new monorail systems for the Northern Bangkok Monorail Company and the Eastern Bangkok Monorail Company. Bombardier will deliver 72 four-car Innovia Monorail 300 trains for the two systems as well as provide project management, systems engineering and integration, testing and commissioning for the new trains and systems.