Milestone reached on Crossrail in Kent

May 13 2015  

Milestone reached on Crossrail in Kent
Crossrail completed a key phase of track work in north Kent on Monday, on a surface section of the project outside the Plumstead tunnel portal.
The contract involved doubling the number of lines along a 1.5km length of existing railway corridor from two to four to accommodate both Crossrail and suburban rail services from 2018. Work now begins to ‘four track’ a second 1.5km stretch of corridor towards the project’s South Easterly terminus at Abbey Wood.
For several years Crossrail’s focus has been on tunnelling beneath central London. But the project also involves £2.3Bn worth of existing line upgrades – a reminder that Crossrail is more than an underground railway.
Network Rail project manager Nick Wilcox, responsible for Crossrail’s South East section, said: “Here at Abbey Wood there is a huge amount of work going on over a relatively short distance. We are also rebuilding the station to accommodate two further platforms."
Principal contractor Balfour Beatty’s site agent Simon Swaby added: “This is a contract where Network Rail used early contractor involvement. Two and a half years of design work were completed before we mobilised on site in September 2013.”
Work outside the Plumstead portal included building new railway embankment on foundation piles, designed to overcome poor ground that includes weak clay and bands of peat.
Rail corridor towards Abbey Wood is generally of sufficient width to accommodate four tracks, although three houses have been demolished. Footbridges are being replaced but road bridges over the railway will remain, with piers strengthened to provide increased impact protection.
Rail services using the North Kent Line which passes beside the site currently slew from one side of the corridor to the other to allow rail engineering to continue.
Crossrail trains are set to begin arriving into Abbey Wood from late 2018. 
(Photo: Crossrail)

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