Extensive Christmas engineering work will help to deliver significant benefits for passengers and continue with exciting new station builds.: Anglia track OLE work

Wednesday 29 Nov 2023

Extensive Christmas engineering work will help to deliver significant benefits for passengers and continue with exciting new station builds.

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Passengers wishing to travel by rail this Christmas are being encouraged to check before travelling as extensive engineering work will be taking place across the Anglia region. 

Major station construction programmes, track renewals, overhead line renewals, bridge demolitions and maintenance will be taking place over Christmas as part of a large package of engineering work to keep the railway running reliably for passengers.

  • At Cambridge South, a new track realignment will allow the construction of the station platforms to be delivered into the new year. There will also be work to the overhead line and signalling equipment and the new station building will continue to be constructed. 
  • The Cambridge resignalling team will be installing signal gantries, and associated signalling equipment between Cambridge and Ely.
  • At Beaulieu Park station, new track will be brought into use to allow trains to divert around the area of construction for the platforms while the new station building continues to be constructed. Work to the overhead lines and new signalling equipment will also continue. 
  • Replacement of track points (moveable sections of track which allow trains to switch between lines) and associated adjustments to the overhead line equipment at Barking to improve reliability.
  • Installation of 1000 metres of new overhead wire at Stratford, completing all overhead wire renewals in this location and renewal of track points at Stratford to improve reliability.
  • Demolition of the Kingsbury Road bridge which has come to the end of its useful life. Replacement of the bridge will be completed later in 2024.
  • Renewal of approx. 200 metres of rail baseplates in the tunnel at Ipswich
  • General maintenance work will be taking place across the network to take advantage of existing closures of the railway on 25 and 26 December and maximise the amount of time we have to complete surveys, inspections and repairs.

Katie Frost, Network Rail's route director for Anglia said: “Our programme of engineering work this Christmas is critical for upgrading and maintaining the railway ahead of the new year. Our engineers, maintenance crews, contractors and surveyors will be out on track over the entire Christmas period delivering this important work.

“We have a significant Christmas programme this year, particularly around Cambridge and Chelmsford to continue building new stations planned to open in 2025. I’d like to reassure passengers that we’ll be getting a huge amount done while trains aren’t running and I want to say thank you to our lineside neighbours for bearing with us while we’re out working hard in their communities.

Service alternations on the Great Eastern and West Anglia main lines and Essex Thameside railway. 

Sunday 24 December (Christmas Eve)

Greater Anglia services will see an early shutdown on Sunday 24 December with a reduction in services from 19:00 and all services stopping by 22:00. The exception to this is the Stanstead Express service between London Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport. The last train to Stansted will depart London Liverpool Street at 23:25. The last train from Stansted airport will depart at 23:45 arriving in London at 00:36 on Christmas Day.

With Fenchurch Street station closed, there will be no c2c services running to Upminster or to Grays via Rainham. The Last c2c trains will also finish earlier than usual on Christmas Eve with all c2c services finished by 23:00.

Great Northern services from London to Kings Lynn via Cambridge, and Thameslink services from Brighton and London to Cambridge, will be affected by engineering works between Potters Bar and Royston. Replacement buses will be operating until the end of service, which will be earlier at around 21:00.  

Passengers are encouraged to check last train times if travelling on Christmas Eve to avoid missing the last trains.   

25 December (Christmas Day) and 26 December (Boxing Day)

No train services will operate on the network on Christmas Day.

Boxing Day will see a half-hourly Stansted Express service run between Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport.

The final Stansted Express services are:

  • - Tottenham Hale- Stansted Airport: 23:15
  • - Stansted Airport – Tottenham Hale: 23:59

No trains or rail replacement bus services will run on any other routes.

c2c services between 27 December and 1 January 2024 (New Year's Day)

A reduced service will operate from 27 December to New Years Day (1 January 2024).  On 27 December engineering work continues on the Essex Thameside railway between London terminals (Fenchurch Street and Liverpool Street), and Upminster and Grays via Rainham. A rail replacement bus service will be provided between Grays, Purfleet, Rainham and Upminster.

Greater Anglia, Great Northern/Thameslink and Cross Country services between London and Ely – 27 December to 1 January 2024 (New Year's Day)

Major engineering work to deliver Cambridge South station and the Cambridge Re-signalling programme will be continuing from 27 December to 1 January 2024, affecting services between Ely, Cambridge, Royston and Stansted airport.  

Greater Anglia trains from London Liverpool Street to Cambridge will start/terminate at Audley End, connecting into rail replacement bus services to/from Cambridge North via Cambridge.

Greater Anglia trains between Norwich and Stansted Airport will start/terminate at Cambridge North on 27 and 28 December, then starting/terminating at Cambridge from 29 December until 1 January.   

Cross Country passengers will be able to use a rail replacement bus service between Ely and Stansted airport via Cambridge on 27 and 28 December, and between Cambridge and Stansted airport from 29 December to 1 January 2024.   

Great Northern and Thameslink trains between London and Royston will run to an amended timetable. On Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 December passengers will be able to connect to rail replacement bus services between Royston, Cambridge and Cambridge North. On Friday 29 through to Monday 1 January buses will replace trains between Royston and Cambridge. An additional direct bus service will operate between Royston and Cambridge North to connect with rail services to / from Kings Lynn.

Greater Anglia services between London and Norwich - 27 December to 1 January 2024 (New Year's Day)

Major engineering work to deliver Beaulieu Park station, and track maintenance work will continue to be delivered taking place from 27 December to 1 January 2024 affecting all services on the mainline between Shenfield and Witham.

Greater Anglia services from Norwich, Ipswich, Clacton, Colchester and Braintree will terminate at Witham, connecting into the following rail replacement bus routes:

  • Fast buses Witham to Billericay, for London bound passengers; taking approximately 50 minutes
  • Stopper buses Witham to Billericay via Hatfield Peverel and Chelmsford; taking approximately 1 hour 5 minutes.

Connecting train services will operate between Billericay and London Liverpool Street, serving Shenfield and Stratford.

For passengers travelling to/from Ingatestone station, a shuttle bus service will operate between Chelmsford and Ingatestone, and between Ingatestone and Shenfield.

Rural lines and branch lines – 27 December to 1 January 2024 (New Year's Day)

Services on country lines, rural lines and branch lines including the Southend Victoria line, Ipswich to Cambridge, Norwich to Cambridge services and the Wherry lines between Norwich and Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth, are likely to run amended timetables and in some locations, a shuttle service, to accommodate planned engineering work across the network. Some services, may also be curtailed on certain days with connections to rail replacement bus services.

All passengers are encouraged to check their journey plans before travelling with National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator. Buses may be busier than usual, and passengers should allow extra time for your journey.

Notes to Editors

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 - Stephen Deaville
Senior Communications Manager
Network Rail
0330 8577 132

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