Asbestos delays replacement of Central line track between Wanstead and Leytonstone to combat screeching noise

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 10 January 2020

Crowded train on the Central line. Picture: Mike Brooke

Crowded train on the Central line. Picture: Mike Brooke


Replacement of the noisiest part of the Central line track between Wanstead and Leytonstone has been delayed due to the discovery of asbestos.

In August last year, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed it had ordered new track and would be replacing the track in both directions.

Dale Smith, head of Central line operations, said at the time: "We did noise testing and this section is the noisiest part of the underground.

"We will be installing noise-absorbing padding which will help buffer sound."

But asbestos has been found and works to the track have been delayed, Mr Smith said at a Redbridge Council meeting on Thursday, January 9.

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He confirmed that the new track has been ordered, but works were being delayed while the asbestos is dealt with.

The screeching saga began a few years ago when residents living nearby complained that the service was too loud.

TfL tried to reduce the noise by insulating the tunnel, but this simply amplified the sound for those in the carriage.

The new track and buffer idea came about after a successful trial at Bethnal Green Tube Station.

Councillor Khayer Chowdhury, chairman of the external scrutiny panel, said: "I am disappointed that this track replacement is being delayed once again but TfL must of course deal with the asbestos first.

"It looks like we will have to put up with the intolerable, deafening and migraine-inducing noise for a bit longer until this lot can sort the asbestos out."

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