Reliability improvements ahead for Essex rail passengers: Clacton signal box train approaching

Friday 11 Sep 2020

Reliability improvements ahead for Essex rail passengers

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Reliability improvements to Clacton on Sea’s rail line are scheduled to take place from this weekend and at weekends throughout October which will result in fewer delays and cancellations for passengers.

Nearly 3/4 mile of track will be replaced along with 1512 sleepers and 5520 tons of ballast to improve rail journeys on the branch line between Alresford and Great Bentley. Works will also start on a major upgrade of the signalling system.

Just like road surfaces, track gets worn from constant use every day. Network Rail’s engineers carry out inspections and repairs regularly, but over time the track becomes so worn that a full replacement is the only option to avoid speed restrictions that cause delays and cancellations.

The work begins on 12 September every weekend until 18 October and affects services between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea / Walton-on-the-Naze. Follow up works take place on Sunday 25 October. Passengers travelling on these dates should check how their journey will be affected before they travel.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We’re carrying out renewals and upgrades on this line to improve reliability. The track replacement work will complement our re-signalling programme and ultimately reduce the number of delays and cancellations passengers experience on their journeys in this region.”

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. People are able to socially distance on our rail replacement buses, as well as on our trains. Please remember to wear a face covering at our stations, and on trains and buses, unless you are exempt.

“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.”

Further works will take place in February 2021 as part of the re-signalling programme which includes a 23-day work programme from Saturday 20 February to Sunday 14 March.


Notes to editors

Passengers should check for more information before travelling.

Dates affected:

Between Clacton and Thorpe Le Soken:

  • Saturday 12 - Sunday 13 September
  • Saturday 19 - Sunday 20 September
  • Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 September

Between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze

  • Saturday 3 - Sunday 4 October 
  • Saturday 10 - Sunday 11 October
  • Saturday 17 - Sunday 18 October
  • Sunday 25 October

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.

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.

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