Network Rail says proposed journey time improvements on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) from London Liverpool Street to Norwich are said to have a “very significant” cost, and will have to be implanted alongside other enhancement and renewals works to reduce the cost. Level crossing closures and power supply upgrades are also likely to be needed to support faster services.
In its Anglia Route Study, the company says Liverpool Street will need additional platform capacity in Control Period 6 (CP6, 2019-2024), alongside signalling headway reductions between Chelmsford and Liverpool Street, construction of a new passing loop north of Witham, and track doubling at Trowse swing bridge.
Capacity improvements between Chelmsford and Liverpool Street are likely to hinge on the introduction of European Train Control System (ETCS), in either Level 2 (fixed block but with no lineside signals) or Level 3 (radio-based moving block signalling with no lineside signals) form.
Should ETCS Level 3 be adopted with Automatic Train Operation - assuming the world-first implementation of this technology on the central section of the Thameslink route proves successful - then capacity from Chelmsford to Liverpool Street could increase from the current maximum of 24 trains per hour (tph) to 32tph.
- For much more on Network Rail's plans for the Great Eastern Main Line, read RAIL 798, published on April 13.