Passengers are now benefiting from major improvements to the Bakerloo line and London Overground which will provide more reliable journeys between London Euston and Watford Junction in the future.
Engineers worked between Saturday 11 and Sunday 19 February to overhaul track, signalling and power supplies for electric trains on a 17-mile stretch of railway and upgrade five stations in north London.
The railway reopened for passengers today (Monday 20 February) after a nine-day closure which saw Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) work together to carry out the large-scale improvement projects, supported by using London Underground equipment, trains, drivers and resources.
The investment included:
- Installing 4,000 modern concrete sleepers in place of wooden ones dating back to the 1950s
- Replacing 28km of cabling for signals – traffic lights for trains
- Structural improvements to five stations including platform resurfacing and roof canopy maintenance
- Renewing the track at Willesden
- Upgrading the power supply for London Underground and Overground trains
- Carrying out signal improvement works at Watford Junction
Carpenders Park, Headstone Lane, Kenton, North Wembley, South Kenton saw a combination of roof repairs, canopy renovations, guttering clearance, platform resurfacing and the installation of tactile paving to improve safety for blind and partially sighted people.
The track work will bring improved journey reliability while the essential weather proofing and tactile paving at the stations will make travelling safer for passengers.
The full railway closure meant construction teams could carry out multiple complex projects at once which would otherwise have taken years of weekend closures and overnight working.
The latest upgrades follows on from similar work which took place in December 2022.
James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “Thanks again to passengers for their patience while we closed the railway so we could carry out these essential projects and improve future journeys between London Euston and Watford Junction.
“It enabled us to update sections of track with new equipment which is much more reliable so people can travel in confidence. We were also able to safely deliver work at five stations during this closure – which although may not be visually obvious to passengers from platform level – was important to protect the structures from bad weather.”
Rory O’Neill, TfL’s general manager for London Overground, said: “We would like to thank customers again for their continued patience while Network Rail and TfL made these vital infrastructure improvements designed to increase train reliability and customer comfort. Our goal is always to provide our customers with the safest and most reliable service possible, and these major improvements will help to ensure we can do just that.”
Now complete these improvements will help tackle flooding and reduce the number of power and signal failures which often lead to train cancellations, helping provide confidence for passengers using London Overground and Bakerloo line services in future.
To learn more about how Network Rail maintains and upgrades the railway you can visit www.networkrail.co.uk/running-the-railway/looking-after-the-railway/
Passengers are reminded they can always plan their journeys by visiting www.nationalrail.co.uk.