Brockley Bites

FT: ELL "to arrive on time"

Today The FT reports that it's full steam ahead for the East London Line and nothing can possibly go wrong - you hear that? Nothing!:

The extension of London Underground’s East London Line, a key part of the 2012 Olympic Games plans, should be able to avoid the pitfalls of previous big infrastructure projects and open on time, according to one of the project’s senior managers.

The project took two steps forward over the festive period with the closure of the existing line from December 22 for a complete overhaul and work being carried out to demolish a viaduct over Network Rail’s main line into Liverpool Street, which was obstructing the new line’s route.

Watch "East London Line - the movie"

For the full story, click here.

Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemetery

The Cemetery is a beautiful part of Brockley which we really should mention more often. The next (6th) Friends of Brockley and Ladywell Cemeteries meeting will be held on Tuesday 15th January 2008, 7.30pm at the Envirowork Brockley Grove Depot, (opposite Baptist Church).
Click here for more details.

Plans for single parent support group in Brockley

Local resident Catherine is interested in setting up a single parent support group whereby members can offer each other mutual support, company and babysitting if needed. If you're interested or know of anyone who may be, please contact Catherine at

Telegraph Hill Festival dates announced

Sara Scott, Chair of the Telegraph Hill Festival 2008 has confirmed the dates for this year's Festival as February 29th to March 9th 2008. More details to come...


Anonymous said...

One thing I can't understand is why exactly the entire existing ELL has to be shut for almost 3 years to do this work? As I understand it, barely any new track is going to be laid so what are they going to be doing all this time? All they have to do surely is re-vamp a few stations and stick in a few more Oyster readers and bob's yer uncle... No wonder they say it's scheduled to open on time - I should Bladdy well hope so!

Anonymous said...

Sigh... you city types who've never done a honest day's toil have NO idea. Bet your hands are a smooth as a ladies!

Not sure of the full scope but the signalinng is being completly redone all the way to croydon. Also building 3 or so new stations and a dirty great depot at New Cross (look up from your FT or NUTS magazine as you pass through of an evening)

Believe me it's better off closing the line and doing it quicker than trying to do it 3 hours a night like the Northern/Victoria and picadilly lines. Takes forever, cost a fortune and hundreads of opportunities of over running and pissing off the passengers...sorry 'customers' it's still late though...!

Brockley Nick said...

For those nerdy enough, there is a great video which explains the project, fairly briefly:

Anonymous said...

Kinda reminds me of that Blackadder 2 episode "You have a ladies hands m'lord...."! Perhaps you're right that there's a lot to do but 3 years complete shut down seems a bit steep! I'll have to watch that vid, Nick. Can't turn the volume up in the office!

Anonymous said...

Oops that last comment was me.... Accidentally signed as Blackadder!

Anonymous said...

Headhunter...welcome to my world. I work in rail, everything takes a zillion times longer to do than you would expect. Dosn't help that Crossrail and Thameslink are going at the same time. Not enough skilled(!) bods or companies around. You should get into Rail Recruitment, money for old rope. Not payed as much as Hugh but GOD we're happy.

Oh, also designing and building an entire new train fleet and some bridges.

Anonymous said...

Yes, with all these rail projects across London there must be a decent market in rail workers... Perhaps time for a career change... Unfortunately I know diddly squat about rail (as you can tell!) so may not make a good recruiter in that area! Still must be nice to have so long to complete a project in the City everyone exepects everything yesterday.

Anonymous said...

You want to try and fit it all in.....into a 35 hour week.

Blimey, is that the time? Off home. Ciao.

Anonymous said...

35 hour week? That'll be why the ELL extension is taking 3 years then. I'm lucky if I get away with 50-60 hours!

Anonymous said...

Yeah me too, just started my busy period at work - lucky if i leave at 8-9pm :o(

Dont ANYONE say auditors are lazy! :o(

and btw, my contact also says I work a 35 hr week.

Anonymous said...

Home and just tucking into my second Hob Nob and a nice cup off tea.

Make sure you guys turn the lights out when you leave the office won't you?

J said...

3 years for a CAPEX project of this nature in the rail industry is pretty good actually. Consider they are building a new LMD (Light Maintenance Depot) and upgrading all the signals, including the boxes, control rooms etc.

What I would question is how much money is being wasted due to the poor nature of the contract structure, but that's another issue.

Anonymous said...

Having suffered and much longer closure of the ELL than originally planned five or so years ago we were jumping up and down about the time it is proposed to take. As I said earlier the tender was on the basis of cost and efficiency rather than time (i.e. it is much more effective to close the whole thing and bring in the equipment from either end). On the other hand though a fairly valid point was made that to compromise with residents living near the works - you could not go all out for round the clock construction - even though this would be much more efficient use of heavy plant.

They are using the same track route but it has to be entirely re-laid for a different system of running.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about my hob nob addiction and slack working hours. The ELL is not one of my projects so you’re safe.

I do know a little about it though. What you have to remember is that when you spend that much public money, politics rears it's ugly head, quiet rightly actually - we're paying for it and we should hold our representatives accountable. Yes there may be quicker ways of building it and as a local resident I wouldn't mind paying a little extra. Remember though that the WHOLE of London is coughing up a proportion of the money so cost and efficiency is not a bad reason to judge a tender? Balfour Beaty have an…. erm... mixed history of delivering Rail work but they’re not amateurs and provided TfL manage the contract professionally it should go OK - or clobber them appropriately for any delays. Politics tends to only look as far as the next election cycle which is why some of the longer infrastructure contracts are the victim of political point scoring.

From my limited experience (any thing less than 10 years in the rail industry and you’re a new boy!!) two and a bit years for a substantially new line with new rolling stock seems quiet good actually.

Pete said...

You guys obviously work very nearly as hard as me. You don't even have time to post on here... oh hang on.

Anonymous said...

lol! (that means laugh out loud foor any oldies out there!)

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