Network Rail is reminding passengers to check before travelling as weekend upgrade and renewal works will be taking place on the Great Eastern main line and on the Southend Victoria line this January and February to improve reliability for train services.
Major renewals works will continue to replace the overhead line electrification system between Stratford and Maryland by installing a new auto tension system that allows the overhead wires to adapt to temperature changes meaning fewer delays and cancellations for passengers. These works will take place on weekends from Saturday 16 January to Sunday 21 February.
Other maintenance works will be taking place along the main line to Shenfield at the same time on several footbridge structures at Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Brentwood as well track maintenance at Ilford and Shenfield which can only be done when the lines are closed.
Weekend works will take place on the Southend Victoria line from Saturday 9 January to Sunday 14 February which includes track refurbishment, earthworks and removal of redundant overhead line structures.
Track renewal and maintenance works will also take place between Colchester and Ipswich on weekends 9/10 January and on 13/14 February which will also affect Greater Anglia services on the Great Eastern main line.
Passengers planning to travel on the following dates are advised to check before travelling with their train operators:
- Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January 2021
- Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 January 2021
- Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January 2021
- Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 January 2021
- Saturday 06 and Sunday 07 February 2021
- Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February 2021
- Sunday 21 February 2021
The works will affect TfL Rail and Greater Anglia services between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield and Great Anglia services between Shenfield, and Southend Victoria/Southminster.
While people should continue to follow the latest Government guidance by staying at home to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 and only travel if they have to, passengers intending to travel can check their weekend journey with www.nationalrail.co.uk, www.tfl.gov.uk or www.greateranglia.co.uk and continue to follow guidance to stay COVID safe while using public transport for essential travel.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “We’re planning to do a lot of work early in the new year which means we have to close a large section of the main line for several weekends for which I apologise.
“We are planning to complete the major overhead line renewals work at Stratford by Easter 2021 so that the new systems are in place for the warmer summer months, improving reliability for passengers and reducing the risk of cancellations and delays from heat related speed restrictions.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director, said: “A rail replacement bus service will operate while the work takes place. Passengers should allow more time for their journey and check before they travel. We would like to thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
“We are already seeing the benefits of major improvement work which was carried out on the Southend Victoria line. The infrastructure is more resilient in the summer months meaning more trains are running on time. This work is the final part of the upgrade project and while there is never an ideal time for engineering work to take place, we are pleased it will be finished in time for the spring.
“We are working with Network Rail to modernise the railway in East Anglia. As part of this, we are replacing every single train in our fleet with a brand new one. The first new train on the Southend line came into service in November 2020 and we will continue with the roll out next year.
“We’d like to reassure customers that need to travel, that they can travel safely with us whether it be by train or bus and remind people to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth for all of their journey, including on buses, trains or stations.”
More information about the Anglia overhead wire renewals programme can be found by visiting our project webpage here: www.networkrail.co.uk/anglia-ole-renewals
Photo credit: Network Rail