Network Rail apologises for loud banging in Borehamwood during early hours of Sunday morning

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Borehamwood Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A train company has apologised after members of the public were disturbed from their sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning by a “horrendous” noise.

The “loud metallic banging”, which echoed around Borehamwood, began at about 2am and did not finish until 6am.

Residents complained the noise sounded like gun fire at first then fireworks, before becoming consistent.

Members of the public took to Twitter to complain about the mysterious racket, which was later traced to Network Rail.

Caused by a piling hammer used to drive in foundations for new overhead power lines, the noise is part of engineering work that will be carried out on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings until June.

Lesley Cook, who lives in Furzehill Road, was woken at 2am.

She said she had received no notice the work was going to happen and originally had no idea what the noise was.

She said: “By 3am it was driving us all mad.

“I found out via Twitter that it was pile driving on the railway line, and is apparently going to continue on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings for nine months.

“We live about a mile from the lines, so goodness knows how the people living closer felt.

“This is not only intolerable, but totally unacceptable. I feel really awful, not having had any sleep. 

“What about people with young children, or someone who is unwell and needs their sleep?”

Oliver Shoffren tweeted: “Thanks @networkrail for NO notice about the loud banging in Borehamwood. Awake for hours last night this must stop not go til June #complaint.”

Lisa Collins tweeted: “Thanks for the sleepless night! @networkrail Lots of tired & grumpy people today #borehamwood.”

Paul Woolfson tweeted to Network Rail: "What the hell were you doing at 4am in Borehamwood. My household was awoken by a constant thumping."

Network Rail had sent out letters giving information about the "vital" engineering work to residents living along the railway line.

However a spokesman for Network Rail admitted, given the noise, the company should have informed more members of the public about the work.

The spokesman said: “The work we are doing in Elstree and Borehamwood is vital to improving the reliability of the railway through the area, replacing an outdated system of overhead electric supply with a more modern and reliable version.

"However, replacing this system is a big job and requires some serious engineering - including digging new foundations (piles) before we start. Because the railway operates during the day, we have to do this ongoing work at night.

"While we have written to our neighbours living along the line, we realise that we should have done more to reach people in the area and apologise to anyone affected.

"We will be doing more to explain the project to residents."

He added although there would be work in the area for some months, it would take a variety of forms and would certainly not be so loud.

Comments (3)

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7:13pm Mon 7 Oct 13

volunteer4d1 says...

Why not close part of the line down all day on a Sunday & provide a replacement bus service? When I lived in Enfield this was done every year when they worked on the railways. I seem to recall the bus service covered the route from Hertford East to Finsbury Park . recently, here in Nottingham, the Nottingham Midland station was closed everyday for weeks due to the revamp of the station & the new tram works. OK so many people were unhappy with closure of the station but I'm sure they would have been even more unhappy had the ail company been working on the lines all night & they'd had no sleep.
Why not close part of the line down all day on a Sunday & provide a replacement bus service? When I lived in Enfield this was done every year when they worked on the railways. I seem to recall the bus service covered the route from Hertford East to Finsbury Park . recently, here in Nottingham, the Nottingham Midland station was closed everyday for weeks due to the revamp of the station & the new tram works. OK so many people were unhappy with closure of the station but I'm sure they would have been even more unhappy had the ail company been working on the lines all night & they'd had no sleep. volunteer4d1
  • Score: 0

6:13pm Tue 8 Oct 13

Cereals says...

They were supposed to notify residents but a lot of people I know near the station did not get any info including my road.

Anyway all that is irrelevant as the noise was horrendous and is all of Elstree and Borehamwood supposed to book into a hotel further away on Saturday nights for the next nine months
They were supposed to notify residents but a lot of people I know near the station did not get any info including my road. Anyway all that is irrelevant as the noise was horrendous and is all of Elstree and Borehamwood supposed to book into a hotel further away on Saturday nights for the next nine months Cereals
  • Score: 2

11:46pm Fri 11 Oct 13

PaulT79 says...

I live next to the station and, although I could write pages on this, will try to keep it short.
1, they do not notify every time they do works at night. I've received 2 letters about 3 months ago regarding night work and nothing since.
2, they do work every night, Monday through to Thursday, then again on Saturday, and have done for over the last 4 months.
3, all this work does not have to happen at night as I've watched them and the majority of the time they go no where near the tracks, nor require the power to be off, they just work within their blocked off section.
4, I have phone network rail approximately 15 times and written to them. I've been contacted back by the so called "customer relations" twice, once by phone saying they were looking into it, once by letter which basically said tough you'll just have to live with.
5, how comes it takes longer to put in a new bridge working around the clock than it did you erect the new flats next to the station, which also caused barely any disruption???
Network rail, you're really worth every penny I spend on my season tickets!
I live next to the station and, although I could write pages on this, will try to keep it short. 1, they do not notify every time they do works at night. I've received 2 letters about 3 months ago regarding night work and nothing since. 2, they do work every night, Monday through to Thursday, then again on Saturday, and have done for over the last 4 months. 3, all this work does not have to happen at night as I've watched them and the majority of the time they go no where near the tracks, nor require the power to be off, they just work within their blocked off section. 4, I have phone network rail approximately 15 times and written to them. I've been contacted back by the so called "customer relations" twice, once by phone saying they were looking into it, once by letter which basically said tough you'll just have to live with. 5, how comes it takes longer to put in a new bridge working around the clock than it did you erect the new flats next to the station, which also caused barely any disruption??? Network rail, you're really worth every penny I spend on my season tickets! PaulT79
  • Score: 0

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