23-days of engineering work to modernise the railway around Clacton-on-Sea: Clacton signal box train approaching

Wednesday 26 Aug 2020

23-days of engineering work to modernise the railway around Clacton-on-Sea

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Passengers in the Clacton-on-Sea area will benefit from a significant upgrade in reliability and safety when a computer-based signalling system goes live as a major upgrade is carried out between now and next Spring, including a 23-day stretch of intensive engineering works during February and March 2021.

The railway between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton-on-Sea is being upgraded with new computer-based signals. This will replace the current system which uses mechanical levers and pullies to change signals and track points, to allow trains to switch between tracks. The new system will be controlled from a powered signal box at Colchester. 

Network Rail aims to provide a safer, more reliable railway, improving the passenger experience, providing better live passenger information and recovering quicker if the system fails.

During the 23-day works from Saturday 20 February to Sunday 14 March, alterations will also be made to the overhead line equipment, and the track layout will be remodelled and updated to cater for a modern railway with powered switches and crossing controlled by the new signals.

To allow us to complete this important re-signalling and renewals programme, we are carrying out work over weekends and during a 23-day closure, starting on Saturday 20 February 2021, when trains will be replaced by rail replacement buses.

Work will take place on the following dates, with rail replacement buses in operation on the following routes:

Between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton-on-Sea

  • Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September
  • Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 September
  • Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 September
  • Saturday 3 - Sunday 4 October
  • Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 October
  • Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 October
  • Sunday 25 October
  • Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 February
  • Saturday 20 February - Sunday 14 March
  • Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 March
  • Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 April
  • Saturday 24 - Sunday 25 April

Between Hythe and Walton-on-the Naze

  • Saturday 3 - Sunday 4 October 
  • Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 October
  • Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 October
  • Sunday 25 October
  • Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 February 
  • Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 February
  • Saturday 27 - Sunday 28 February
  • Saturday 6 - Sunday 7 March
  • Saturday 13 - Sunday 14 March
  • Saturday 20 - Sunday 21 March
  • Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 April
  • Saturday 24 - Sunday 25 April

Anyone wishing to travel across these routes, during the works is advised to plan ahead and check before travelling with nationalrail.co.uk or greateranglia.co.uk.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We will deliver a significant package of works during a three-week period in February and March 2021.

“I’m sorry for the disruption that 23 days of engineering works will cause for passengers. Completing these large-scale projects and maintenance in one coordinated effort, will help reduce the overall amount of disruption and deliver a safer, modern and reliable railway for many years to come.”                                    

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We know that our customers would rather travel by train than bus, but we will make sure they are still able to complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus, during this major works.

“Together with Network Rail we are transforming rail travel in Essex, as they modernise the signalling and track and we are introducing brand new longer state-of-the-art trains to replace every single one of our old trains across the whole of our network.

“Please check our website and social media for updates about alternative travel arrangements during these works.”

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
0330 8577 132

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk