Upgrades to the Great Eastern Main Line between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield have been completed ahead of schedule and the line is back in action.
The Essex township is an essential stop on the Elizabeth line and a big redevelopment of the historic town (the name means fair field) is underway. Additional capacity has been added to the railway at Shenfield to accommodate higher frequency services that will be provided once the Elizabeth line extends from Essex and through the central tunnels in 2019.
Shenfield now has a newly built platform, Platform 6, which will be dedicated to the new service, an extended Platform 5, as well as three new sidings each capable of accommodating the new trains.
The entire rail junction at Shenfield, including track, signals and overhead power lines has been improved. Trains will pass smoothly through the junction without having to wait for other trains, reducing the risk of delays and improving journeys for all passengers. Over 5,000 metres of new track and 26 new track switches have been laid as part of the junction remodelling works.
Work has also been progressed at stations between Liverpool Street and Shenfield in readiness for the new trains. Says Howard Smith, Operations Director of TfL Rail, ‘The new platform and other works at Shenfield station will benefit both regular commuters and those travelling further afield.
This marks another milestone in the delivery of the new railway. Our customers using TfL Rail will be the first to use our new trains, which will travel between Shenfield and Liverpool Street in preparation for Elizabeth line services in December 2018.’ Definitely a case of bon voyage – or schoene reise for passengers to and from Shenfield.