TfL to rerail Central line track in Wanstead to try and stop ‘deafening’ screeching noise

Wanstead underground station was designed by Charles Holden in 1947. Photo by George Rex.

Wanstead underground station was designed by Charles Holden in 1947. Photo by George Rex. - Credit: George Rex

Transport for London (TfL) is going to rerail a section of the Central line between Wanstead and Leytonstone in a bid to stop a “deafening” screeching sound.

Engineers hope this will solve the troublesome stretch of track, which has disturbed residents and commuters for the past couple of years.

As trains speed along the line, near Cambridge Park, Wanstead, a loud, high-pitched sound is made as the wheels rub against curves in the track – making it one of the loudest points in the whole Tube network.

Initially residents of Woodcote Road, Wanstead, and other neighbouring streets, complained about the sounds, particularly after the start of the Night Tube.

TfL used dampening techniques last year, and while this did quieten the noise outside the Tube, it actually made it louder for those using the Central line.


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At the end of 2016 TfL’s community relations manager Mark Hart told Redbridge councillors: “We don’t know how to solve it at the moment, but we will work it out.”

Now TfL is hoping that by rerailing the track, the screeching noise will reduce inside the carriages and not increase outside.

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Nigel Pitt, of Woodcote Road, commented: “Certainly I look forward to this work being done and hope that the rumble of the trains beneath my house will cease after that. Until this track was replaced there was no noise whatsoever from the trains.”

Commuter and Redbridge Conservatives activist Michael Duffell added: “It’s great that TfL are investing in this, the noise is deafening for commuters and impacts residents too.

“I just hope there are no unintended consequences this time or overrunning of engineering works and therefore suspensions during our morning commute.”

A date has not yet been set, but the work will be carried out outside of operating hours, meaning there will be no disturbance to users.

Mark Wild, managing director of London Underground, said: “We completely understand how important it is to minimise noise for our neighbours and customers, and we are doing everything possible to do so.

“I would urge anyone worried about noise to get in touch with us so we can come and investigate and work out how we can mitigate noise most effectively.”

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