Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 12140 - 12159)

  12140. CHAIRMAN: We saw that from the footbridge.

  12141. LADY BRIGHT: Yes, you can see that, so would you say that you have special circumstances—your noise profile is not the same as the noise profile of a house four down?

   (Mr Hessenberg) Standing in front of your house this morning I was deeply shocked by how much worse yours is than ours. It really is appalling because you have got the barrier, you have got Royal Oak Tube Station where everything is screeching to a halt there and it is particularly bad there.

  12142. You were telling me that things are better at your end in one respect suddenly.

   (Mr Hessenberg) Only because they have reengined the Paxmans and put in new Deutz engines which are much, much quieter and there is less pollution. I think the main thing is the EWS trains, the aggregate trains which bump in the night and screech, and the batching plant, that is really very severe with violent vibration.

  12143. Are you satisfied that that will be better now that the headshunt is further west?

   (Mr Hessenberg) It is still quite a problem.

  12144. CHAIRMAN: Are the EWS trains loose-coupled?

   (Mr Hessenberg) Yes, it sounds like it.

  12145. LORD SNAPE: I am sorry, Lord Chairman, they are not. There are hardly any loose-coupled trains left by and large on the railway system.

  12146. CHAIRMAN: I was surprised—

  12147. LORD SNAPE: They are not loose-coupled; they have continuous air brakes and they are tightly coupled together these days.

   (Mr Hessenberg) But they do screech and bump.

  12148. LORD SNAPE: Indeed, I am not saying they are particularly quiet but they are not loose-coupled. Of course the engine could be doing 20 miles an hour, and the guards van at the back—and I speak from bitter experience—actually moved, but we do not have any of those any more.

  12149. LADY BRIGHT: I think you have got a sense of the geography there, thank you very much.

Cross-examined by MS LIEVEN

  12150. MS LIEVEN: Mr Hessenberg, can I just ask you a couple of factual questions, please. First of all, as far as the Hammersmith & City line is concerned and the portal, you suggested that it was on the south side of the track somewhere round here; in fact it is on the north side of the tracks, these are the Hammersmith & City tracks over here and the portal is over on the north side, on the Westway side, is it not?

   (Mr Hessenberg) Yes it is, I am sorry.

  12151. And secondly as far as these EWS trains are concerned, I think you said that your house was one of these ones here (indicating), was that right?

   (Mr Hessenberg) That is it, yes.

  12152. Under the Crossrail scheme, I do not know if you understand, the batching plant is going to be moved and the lines are going to be reconfigured.

   (Mr Hessenberg) Further west.

  12153. Were you aware of that?

   (Mr Hessenberg) Not totally, no.

  12154. Were you aware that the batching plant was going to be rebuilt?

   (Mr Hessenberg) Yes.

  12155. Were you aware that the tracks were going to be reconfigured?

   (Mr Hessenberg) No.

  12156. The fact is that under the Crossrail scheme the EWS trains, which at the moment come all the way down here to go into the batching plant, are not going to go any further than approximately here, ie west of the footbridge, so they will stop coming past your house in the night. As I understand it from what you have said about the EWS trains being the biggest problem for you because of the noise they make at night, that will be a significant improvement to your position, will it not?

   (Mr Hessenberg) It sounds like it.

  12157. MS LIEVEN: Good, thank you.

  12158. LORD SNAPE: Before you leave us Mr Hessenberg, could you tell us how many of those freight trains there are in the course of the night? Are they running continuously or is it just the odd one?

   (Mr Hessenberg) It is the odd one. It is my daughter who lives in the upper floors who is much affected by this. We are in the back of the house and at a lower level, but we do get complaints from the people who live above.

  12159. LORD SNAPE: I am not suggesting the noise is any less because there is only a few of them, I am just trying to ascertain in my own mind how often these train movements take place.

   (Mr Hessenberg) I think one of the concerns is the deep rumbling and the vibration affecting the houses considerably, and cracks appearing in the walls.

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