Transport for London (TfL) will use brand new state-of-the-art maintenance trains on the Elizabeth line to increase the lifespan of the capital’s newest railway.
Scheduled to come into operation this December, the Elizabeth line is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe and will connect the home counties with the capital thanks to the 73-mile long railway.
The introduction of the new line will also alleviate congestion on the rest of London’s rail network and its importance in doing this and creating greater capacity means the very best maintenance is needed.
Therefore, maintenance trains are currently being tested in Europe ahead of the line’s opening to ensure it runs for hundreds of thousands of Londoners and visitors.
A rail milling train and two multi-purpose engineering trains with bespoke machinery attachments will use the latest in technology to deliver monitoring and maintenance necessary on the Elizabeth line.
Using this state-of-the-art technology will deliver reduced maintenance costs for the railway infrastructure, delivering savings that can be reinvested into the railway for many more years.
The rail milling train – the first of its kind to be used in the UK rail sector – will scan the rails using electromagnetic crack detection, looking for defects and identifying issues with the track.
Its ability to mill the surface of the rail means defects and cracks can be eradicated, therefore reducing wear on the Elizabeth line train and tracks.
Two multi-purpose engineering vehicles are part of the maintenance trains and will have the ability to change a five-tonne, 35-metre switch rail within the overnight engineering h ours.
Fitted with the Elizabeth line’s central section signalling system, these maintenance trains will be able to move around the railway while passenger trains are running so that work during the night can be maximised.
Other tests are taking place on the line too, and once it is operational, these maintenance trains and their use of the very latest technology will keep the Elizabeth line in the best health for years.