The Anonymous Widower

What Really Happened At Walthamstow Central

I heard a lot of complaints about the closure of the Victoria Line in August. So I was pleased to see this article in Rail Engineer entitled Life is not a rehearsal… but pumping concrete can be!

As detailed by Transport for London this is a summary of what needed to be done.

Improvement work planned this summer by London Underground (LU) will lead to the operation of 36 trains per hour. From April 2016, this will provide a train every 100 seconds during peak hours, making the Victoria line the UK’s highest frequency railway and comparable with the very best in the world. All peak-time trains will run the full length of the line from Walthamstow Central to Brixton, giving a 40% capacity boost for customers northeast of Seven Sisters.

But it wasn’t that simple to achieve and the Rail Engineer article explains the main problem of a crossing at Walthamstow.

The trackwork kept pace with the times, but wasn’t shiny and, of course, it was out of sight. At Walthamstow – the end of the line – the track arrangement ended in a scissors crossover. For the non-pway engineers, this is a compact and complex track arrangement where terminating trains arriving at the crossover from the south in the northbound tunnel can be routed into either of the two platforms at Walthamstow Central, then routed back from either platform into the southbound tunnel.

Changing it wasn’t simple and they used every trick in the book to do the project.

  • A bespoke overhead crane was installed at the crossover, for ease of working, and after the job was completed it was left behind in the tunnel, so it could be used again if needed.
  • A number of demolition techniques were used to remove the old track and its concrete base.
  • They even wrapped the new track in polythene, so that no concrete got on the rails.
  • They had actually rehearsed the major concrete pouring which required fifty truck-loads of concrete in the open at Acton Depot.

The major outcome is that the speed of trains through the crossing has been raised from 20 mph to 35 mph, which is necessary to achieve thirty-six trains an hour through London.

Read the full article.

This is the sort of project that would make good television!

Except for one thing!

Nothing went wrong and the project was delivered thirty-six hours early.



October 5, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] describes how after all of the upgrade work I described in What Really Happened At Walthamstow Central, noise levels have increased in some of the houses by the station. This is an […]

    Pingback by My Thoughts On Tube Noise At Walthamstow Central « The Anonymous Widower | October 7, 2015 | Reply

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