An upgrade to the Pudding Mill transformer that provides power for the Elizabeth line will take place later this month, closing the railway between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

The Pudding Mill transformer was the site of a power explosion back in November 2017 that was a significant element in the delays in opening the Elizabeth line, although at the time the impact was downplayed by Crossrail with an expected delay of no more than three months.

Pudding Mill transformer (c) Network Rail

The upgrade now being planned was expected and is needed to allow the Elizabeth line to complete the connection of the tracks at the Pudding Mill portal to link the Shenfield branch of the railway into the central core tunnels later this year. That’ll allow uninterrupted running between Shenfield and Paddington.

The engineering works will take place on Sunday 24th July and will affect Greater Anglia passengers travelling to/from London and Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. The Elizabeth line that runs between Liverpool Street to Shenfield on Sundays will also be suspended.

In addition to the power upgrade at Pudding Mill for the Elizabeth line, there will be work to lengthen platforms on the West Anglia main line to accommodate 10-car trains.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “This work is vital to upgrade the railway to support new, longer trains for West Anglia passengers and to support the next stage of the opening of the Elizabeth line which will revolutionise the way passengers travel across London. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these works.”

Great Eastern main line

Buses will replace trains between Ingatestone and Newbury Park (TfL Central Line tube station).

Buses will replace trains between Billericay and Newbury Park (TfL Central Line tube station)

National rail tickets will be accepted on TfL Central Line services between Newbury Park and Stratford / London Liverpool Street.

West Anglia main line

Buses will replace trains between Bishops Stortford and Waltham Cross, and also between Hertford East and Waltham Cross.


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  1. SteveP says:

    Crossrail – how can you believe anything they say? So the delay in through-running trains was not just “signalling” (as if that ever made sense, IMO) but rather a knock-on effect of this downplayed near-disaster (explosion as a result of a design fault) which was apparently not even fixed properly the second time.

    Third time lucky?

    • ianVisits says:

      Crossrail never said that the delays were just signalling (and yes it made a lot of sense), but were always clear that while the fitout was a major issue, it was never the only one.

  2. Stuart says:

    That doesn’t look like any transformer I’ve seen. It’s more like the associated incoming HV lines and switchgear.

  3. nickrl says:

    Hang on the trains are already running through between NR and XR infrastructure so this sounds like a lame excuse. Also they’ve had an extra 3 1/2 years to do this surely. Then as usual NR dish out excuses with the promise that it will make our journeys better but the same infrastructure faults befall the network at least once a week despite a decade of weekend closures.

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