Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex rail passengers advised to plan ahead this Easter as Network Rail set to complete key upgrades: Network Rail undertaking Crossrail overhead line replacement work at Shenfield

Monday 5 Mar 2018

Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex rail passengers advised to plan ahead this Easter as Network Rail set to complete key upgrades

Region & Route:

Passengers travelling from Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex are set to benefit from major rail upgrades this Easter as Network Rail carries out a package of work over the four-day period.

Network Rail’s Team Orange will work the equivalent of 13,000 hours to carry out a package of vital improvements between Gidea Park and Forest Gate during the four day period as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan:

  • Nearly 4.8km of new overhead wire will be installed at a key junction in Ilford, as part of a £249m project to install a new wiring system that automatically adapts to temperature changes to reduce delays and improve reliability
  • New structures that carry the overhead wires will be installed at Forest Gate in preparation for the installation of the new wiring system in that area later in the year
  • In one of the largest engineering projects in the country, nine switches and crossings units and four fixed pieces of track will be installed at Gidea Park. These allow trains cross over smoothly between tracks and will improve operational flexibility and reliability
  • Further work will also take place in the run up to completion of the eastern section of the Elizabeth line at the end of the year

These improvements will last for decades to come and help to provide a more reliable service to the growing numbers of passengers using the busy mainline.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This Easter our work is focussed on future-proofing the busy main line for the growing number of passengers using it. As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we will continue to install the new overhead wiring system, which is crucial to improving reliability and allowing more trains to run in the future, in addition to major track improvements at Gidea Park. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these important upgrades.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “Together with Network Rail we’re working hard to make the railway in East Anglia fit for future generations. We’ve got 288 buses booked and we will have extra staff working for the Easter weekend to make sure our customers can complete their journeys during this period of vital engineering works.”

A rail replacement service will run between Ingatestone / Billericay and London Liverpool Street while the work takes place. Passengers are advised to check before they travel at

Notes to Editors


  • Greater Anglia

Ingatestone / Billericay to London Liverpool Street (Friday 30 March – Monday 2 April)

Rail replacement bus services will run between Ingatestone / Billericay to Newbury Park where passengers can pick up the Central line into London.

Colchester - Colchester Town (Saturday 31 March – Monday 2 April)

Essex County Council will be carrying out bridge strengthening works to a road over rail bridge between Colchester and Colchester Town.  Rail replacement bus services will be in place between Colchester and Hythe, connecting with an amended service operating between Clacton and Colchester Town.


  • TfL Rail

Liverpool Street and Shenfield (Friday 30 March - Monday 2 April)

Replacement buses operate between Stratford and Romford, and between Newbury Park and Shenfield via Chadwell Heath. Use Central line connections between Liverpool Street, Stratford and Newbury Park.

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

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.

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