The rail connection between the national rail network and the Crossrail tunnels has been successfully completed, linking east to west through Central London for the first time.
Network Rail completed its side of the operations at three tunnel portals, at Pudding Mill Lane, Plumstead and Royal Oak, near Westbourne Park.
At Pudding Mill Lane where the Elizabeth line tunnels emerge and meet with the national rail infrastructure, Network Rail has completed track work to allow trains to enter and exit the new tunnels from the existing above ground railway. Alongside new track, this required new overhead power lines and signalling equipment.
Elsewhere, they’ve completed the upgrade of Gidea Park sidings.
Over the last ten weeks, teams of engineers have worked around the clock to upgrade overhead lines, signals and track to enable the sidings to accommodate the full length, 200 metre long, Elizabeth lines trains which will be stabled here.
The work involved the renewal of over 3.2km of track, 8,000 tonnes of new ballast and 45,000 concrete sleepers with four new longer sidings replacing five life-expired sidings.
They also carried out the installation of new overhead line equipment and signals using 37 steel piles.
Further upgrade works will continue on the Great Eastern Main Line until April to replace overhead wires to improve reliability and continue work to install the systems which will power overhead line equipment.
Track closures will take place every weekend until Monday 2 April, including the Easter weekend, between Liverpool Street and Shenfield. This will affect both TfL Rail and Greater Anglia services as well as London Overground between Romford and Upminster.