Further rail upgrades planned for 2017 to deliver a bigger and more reliable railway for passengers in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire: Gidea Park overhead wire project

Wednesday 26 Oct 2016

Further rail upgrades planned for 2017 to deliver a bigger and more reliable railway for passengers in London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire

Route:
Anglia
South East

Passengers travelling on the railway between Norwich and London and across to Cambridge are being asked to check before they travel, particularly at weekends as complex improvement works continue over Christmas and into 2017. This work will deliver vital railway upgrades for the Crossrail programme and remove long-standing heat related speed restrictions.

As part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, Network Rail will continue to install new overhead wires that will make the railway more reliable. During 2016, more than 31,000 metres of overhead wire has been installed and a speed restriction between Shenfield and Chelmsford has already been removed.  Work continues a-pace on the Crossrail project to provide an extra platform at Shenfield and sidings in preparation for the arrival of new air-conditioned trains that will start operating on the TfL Rail route between Shenfield and Liverpool Street station, from May 2017.

These and other important upgrades will continue for 10 days over the Christmas and New Year period, and will affect Greater Anglia and TfL Rail services into Liverpool Street and across to Cambridge. Further work to improve the line will take place over a number of weekends from January to May 2017, meaning some journeys will be longer and involve rail replacement buses from Essex into London.

Major Crossrail works being delivered by Network Rail to remodel the track and provide an extra platform at Shenfield for future Elizabeth line services will take place from Tuesday 3 January 2017 until late May. This means there will be no TfL Rail services between Brentwood and Shenfield during week days and weekends until late May 2017. During this time, a frequent rail replacement bus service will run between the two stations.

Overhead line renewal infographic4

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Our Railway Upgrade Plan in Anglia is delivering one of the biggest and most crucial programmes of work in years, bringing benefits to passengers all the way up to Norwich.

“I understand though that to get a bigger and better railway, passengers have to experience the inconvenience and disruption that closing the railway causes. 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 of Greater Anglia, said: “We need this work to be done at Shenfield in order to improve reliability and journey times on our Norwich to London route. We recognise that it is a major inconvenience to customers wanting to travel on this route at weekends when engineering is taking place, but ultimately it will make these journeys much better.”

Howard Smith, Operations Director for TfL Rail, said: “We are working with Network Rail to carry out vital works to ensure we are ready to run the Elizabeth line as well as improving the line for other train services. This will mean we can’t run a TfL Rail service between Brentwood and Shenfield. I’d like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place. It is important that they always check for updates before they travel and follow alternative travel advice.”

A vast amount of work like this cannot take place while the railway is open and Network Rail has worked with train operators Greater Anglia and TfL Rail, to plan the closures at times when the least amount of people use the railway and minimise the impact on passengers as much as possible. 

The programme of work includes:

  • Works to provide an extra platform at Shenfield and sidings in preparation for the arrival of new air-conditioned trains that will start operating on the TfL Rail route between Shenfield and Liverpool Street station, from May 2017. Crossrail construction work will also continue at key stations between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street providing better station facilities step free access and longer platforms in preparation for longer Elizabeth line trains that will arrive from 2019.
  • The complete remodelling of an important junction at Shenfield to help deliver more reliable journeys for passengers travelling from London to Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich by May 2017. These improvements will enable passenger and freight trains to travel through the area more freely, reducing the risk of delays to other services.
  • Work continues at Ilford depot to provide a space for keeping and maintaining new trains that will operate on the TfL Rail route from May 2017 and later the Elizabeth line.
  • Work to replace overhead wires between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. This £250m project will improve reliability and significantly reduce the impact of heat-related disruption during the summer when overhead wires sag and speed restrictions are imposed.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Passengers are advised to check on National Rail Enquiries www.nationalrail.co.uk or with the train operator. Below is a guide to some of the major changes to services from Christmas to May 2017. The Brentwood to Shenfield closure will continue until late May.

 

Date

TfL Rail

Greater Anglia - Norwich to London

London to King’s Lynn line

Norwich/Bury St. Edmunds  to Ely/Cambridge lines

Saturday 24 December

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield*

No service between London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone/Billericay**

Normal rail services

Normal rail services

Sunday 25 December (Christmas Day)

No services

No services

No Services

No Services  

Monday 26 December

(Boxing day)

No services

No services

No Services

No Services

Tuesday 27 December

No services ***

No service between  Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street**

Normal rail services *****

Normal rail services

Wednesday 28 December to Friday 30 December

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield*

No service between  Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street**

Normal rail services *****

Normal rail services

Saturday 31 December

 

 

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield*

No service between  Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street**

No services between Cambridge and Ely

Normal rail services

Sunday 1 January 2017

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield*

No service between  Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street**

No services between Cambridge and Ely. And no services  between Bishops Stortford and Cheshunt

Normal rail services

Monday 2 January 2017

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield*

No service between  Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street**

Normal rail services

Normal rail services

* Rail replacement bus services call at all affected stations between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield

** Rail replacement bus service will run between Ingatestone and Newbury Park (for the Central line). A rail replacement bus service will also operate between Ingatestone and Shenfield and between Billericay and Newbury Park (for the Central line).

*** A rail replacement bus service will run every 15 minutes from Chadwell Heath to Shenfield, calling at all stops, as well as Newbury Park for the Central line. Buses will also run every 15 minutes from Romford to Stratford calling at all stops except Maryland.

***** Late-night services (after 00:00) between Bishops Stortford and Cambridge will be replaced with a rail replacement bus service.

 

Date

TfL Rail

Greater Anglia

Saturday 7 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

Normal rail service

Sunday 8 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

No service between Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 14 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

Normal rail service

Sunday 15 January

No service between Chadwell Heath and Shenfield**

No service between

Ingatestone/Wickford and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 21 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

Normal rail service

Sunday 22 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

No service between

Ingatestone/Wickford and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 28 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

Normal rail service

Sunday 29 January

No service between Brentwood and Shenfield**

No service between

Ingatestone/Wickford and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 4 February

No service between Stratford and Shenfield*

No service between

Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street***

Sunday 5 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between

London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone/Billericay***

     

Saturday 11 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between

Ingatestone/Billericay and London Liverpool Street***

Sunday 12 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between

Witham/Billericay and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 18 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Wickford and London Liverpool Street***

Sunday 19 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield

No service between Witham/Wickford and London Liverpool Street***

     

Saturday 25 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

Sunday 26 February

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

     

Saturday 4 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Ingatestone/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool St****

Sunday 5 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool St****

     

Saturday 11 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Ingatestone/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

Sunday 12 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

     

Saturday 18 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Ingatestone/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

Sunday 19 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

     

Saturday  25 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

Sunday 26 March

No service between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield*

No service between Witham/Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street****

     

The Brentwood to Shenfield closure will continue until late May. Further details of weekend closures beyond March are yet to be finalised.

Rail replacement bus services:

* A rail replacement bus service will run every 15 minutes from Chadwell Heath to Shenfield, calling at all stops, as well as Newbury Park for the Central line. Buses will also run every 15 minutes from Romford to Stratford calling at all stops except Maryland.

** Rail replacement bus services call at all affected stations

*** Rail replacement bus service will run between Witham/Ingatestone and Newbury Park (for the Central line). A rail replacement bus service will also operate between Ingatestone and Shenfield and between Billericay/Wickford and Newbury Park (for the Central line).

****Rail replacement bus service will run between Witham/Ingatestone and Newbury Park (for the Central line).

 

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
Network Rail
0247 682 0219
Katie.Mack@networkrail.co.uk

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 36,000 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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