Network Rail has announced that it has completed a 12-month-long project of electrical work, infrastructure upgrades and operational changes to help increase the reliability of the railway between London Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green.
Also known as the Golden Mile, the track is the busiest on the entire Anglia route and is used by every train entering or leaving Liverpool Street, so any problems can cause significant delays for passengers.
The project included the replacement of 300 insulated block joints (IBJs), these are pieces of equipment that separate electrical circuits on the track. IBJs are used to allow the signalling system to know the exact location of where trains are.
If these fail, which happens more often when they get older, trains are stopped completely, causing hours of delay whilst they are repaired.
Engineers are also developing new ways to maintain and clean the IBJs, which will help to keep them working effectively into the future.
Alongside this work, engineers have installed new high-tensile bolts on the movable parts of the track.
Statistics have already shown a reduction in delays. In the 16 week period from 1 April 2019, there were 8530 minutes of delay caused by track and point faults. In the same period in 2020, there were just 861 minutes of delay caused by these faults.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail route director for Anglia, said: “The track between Liverpool Street station and Bethnal Green is vitally important on our route and being the busiest section, reliability here is crucial to the whole network. We decided to intensify our focus on this part of the railway to drive down delays and deliver a better service for passengers.
“The completion of this work last month is a milestone in our journey to transforming the Golden Mile. It shows what we can achieve through a combination of innovative engineering and close collaboration with our train operating partners.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “A majority of our services use the Golden Mile stretch of track so it’s crucial that it’s maintained to the highest standards.
“We are working with Network Rail and are doing all we can to improve performance and punctuality and it’s great that we are already reaping the benefits of this engineering work.”
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