Anglia rail passengers urged to plan their journeys ahead of essential upgrade work this August bank holiday: Overhead wire renewal on Great Eastern Mainline

Wednesday 12 Jul 2017

Anglia rail passengers urged to plan their journeys ahead of essential upgrade work this August bank holiday


Rail passengers travelling between Norwich and London are advised to check before they travel ahead of improvement work this August bank holiday to deliver vital upgrades for the Crossrail programme and to remove long-standing heat related speed restrictions.

Network Rail will carry out work on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August to replace 1km of overhead wire at Brentwood as part of a £250m project to upgrade the wiring system on the busy mainline. The wires and structures that are currently in place were installed in the 1950s and the system is one of the oldest in the country. When the weather gets hot, the wires sag and speed restrictions have to be imposed to protect them from damage by trains. The new wires are controlled by a system of weights, to keep them taut at all times, so trains can pass at their normal speed meaning fewer delays.

Work also continues on the Crossrail programme to install 202 metres of track and 540 tonnes of ballast at Pudding Mill Lane near Stratford station to prepare for the connection of the Elizabeth line tunnel to the main line. Improvements will also be made at stations between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. When complete, the Elizabeth Line will increase London’s rail capacity by 10% and bring 1.5 million extra people within 45 minutes of central London.

Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “We’re continuing to upgrade the overhead line on the mainline to London to improve reliability and reduce delays as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We also continue our work on the Crossrail programme near Stratford to connect the Elizabeth line tunnel to the mainline. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued understanding and encourage them to check ahead of travelling to see how their journey might be affected.”

Jamie Burles, managing director at Greater Anglia, said: “There are still several weeks left until the August Bank Holiday when people can travel all the way into and out of London by train. During the bank holiday weekend we will make sure people can still complete their journeys, even though some of it is by rail replacement bus.”

Passengers heading for London are being advised to plan their journeys more carefully this August as there will also be significant changes to train services out of London Bridge, London Euston, London Waterloo, London Liverpool Street and London Paddington. A breakdown of how journeys may be affected can be found by visiting and following #AugustBHWorks on Twitter.

Passengers can check before they travel at There are also some closures to London Overground and some London Underground lines. Details can be found at at

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)
020 3356 2515

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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