Work has begun on the Stockley Interchange in west London, a crucial part of the Crossrail network that will allow Crossrail services to operate to and from Heathrow.
When Crossrail services begin, even more trains will travel along the Great Western main line so work is needed to improve capacity. The current junction at Stockley allows trains to leave the main line and continue to Heathrow Airport.
Network Rail, on behalf of Crossrail Limited, will build a new single track viaduct for all trains from Heathrow towards London. Work is due to complete in 2017. Existing train services to Heathrow will continue to run throughout.
Stockley Interchange will allow Crossrail trains to join the branch to Heathrow without delaying - or being delayed by - fast trains to the west, thus increasing capacity and reliability on the extremely busy Great Western main line.
Jorge Mendonça, programme director for Network Rail, said: “The Stockley Interchange is critical to unlocking the benefits of Crossrail. We’ve spent years planning and preparing to reach this point, so today is an important milestone. As well as starting the building works, we’re planning the rest of our programme to make sure that passengers and our lineside neighbours notice as little disruption as possible. This represents a very successful start to our delivery of this Crossrail structure.”
Matt White, Crossrail surface director, said: “The major works at Stockley Interchange will allow Crossrail services to operate to Heathrow. Crossrail will provide four ten-car trains per hour on the Great Western main line in each direction during the peak between central London and Heathrow with two per hour to West Drayton and four per hour to Maidenhead.”
Crossrail trains from Heathrow will run into Paddington and under London in newly-constructed tunnels. The service will offer the ability to travel from Heathrow to the West End, the City, and Canary Wharf without changing, reducing journey times and inconvenience.
When Crossrail opens, passengers will be able to reach Heathrow from Canary Wharf in 39 minutes, Liverpool Street in 33 minutes and Bond Street in 26 minutes.
Network Rail is responsible for the design, development and delivery of the parts of Crossrail that are on the existing network, covering 70km (43.5 miles) of track and 28 stations from Maidenhead in the west to Abbey Wood and Shenfield in the east.