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Bakerloo line closure for essential upgrades to affect Harrow commuters for six days

Harrow residents using the Bakerloo line and London Overground are being advised of significant railway upgrades that will affect journeys over six days in August.

From Saturday 3 August to Thursday 8 August 2024, Network Rail engineers will undertake £2 million worth of improvements on a 16-mile stretch of railway in north London. These upgrades are essential to replace outdated equipment prone to failure, enhancing the reliability of the railway for passengers.

During the six-day closure, the work will include the renewal of the power system supplying signalling equipment. This involves the installation of 32.5km of new cabling and several lineside power distribution cabinets. Additionally, 3km of conductor rail, which provides power to trains via a steel rail, will be upgraded.

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The high voltage power system that powers trains through the conductor rails will also be renewed, involving the replacement of 3km of aging 11kv power cables. Upgrading track switches and crossings, which improve train guidance and allow trains to cross paths, is another critical part of the project.

Network Rail is utilising this closure to complete various infrastructure upgrade projects to enhance the efficiency of the railway and prevent future disruptions. This work will impact the Bakerloo line between Queen’s Park and Harrow & Wealdstone stations, and the London Overground between Euston and Watford Junction stations.

With less than a month remaining until the upgrades begin, passengers are advised to plan ahead by checking tfl.gov.uk/bakerloo-overground, or the Transport for London (TfL) Go app. It is crucial for commuters to prepare for these changes and adjust their travel plans accordingly.

From Saturday 3 August to Thursday 8 August, TfL customers affected by the upgrades can complete their journeys by using alternative rail lines, and existing or temporary bus routes.

Bakerloo line closure for essential upgrades to affect Harrow commuters for six days Harrow Online
Watford Junction station. Credit: Google Streetview

Gary Walsh, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “We know there’s never an ideal time to close the railway, but working on consecutive days means that we can keep the railway open as much as possible throughout the rest of the year. I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding and patience in advance while we carry out these significant improvements to the Bakerloo line and London Overground.

“I appreciate that doing this essential work is disruptive for passengers so I’d urge people to keep in mind the line between Euston and Watford Junction will be closed and to check National Rail Enquiries and TfL for alternative public transport options in and out of London.”

Alex Williams, Chief Customer and Strategy Officer at TfL, said: “We’re sorry for the disruption that Network Rail’s essential infrastructure upgrade work will cause to our customers’ journeys and are working closely with them to minimise the impact. Closures of this type enable work to be carried out which will make customer journeys more reliable in future and are scheduled to take place, where possible, in school holidays when demand on our network is significantly reduced.

“We advise our customers to use TfL’s Journey Planner or the TfL Go app to plan their journeys in advance during this period.”

Passengers are reminded to also check www.nationalrail.co.uk for further updates on how railway upgrades could impact on journeys.

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