REMINDER: Vital rail upgrade works start this weekend on the Great Eastern Main Line: Colchester Essex Track Replacement Dec 19

Thursday 15 Oct 2020

REMINDER: Vital rail upgrade works start this weekend on the Great Eastern Main Line

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

A programme of vital upgrades is planned in the run-up to Christmas to make rail services between Norwich and London more reliable.

Works are taking place at various points on the line between Ipswich and London at weekends starting from the 17 October to 22 November and passengers are advised to check before they travel.

The work involves:

  • The replacement of 4 switches and crossings units, which allow trains to switch from one track to another at Colchester
  • Replacement of worn track at Manningtree
  • At Stratford and Maryland, works will take place to upgrade the overhead line electrification with a new auto tension system that adapts to temperature changes
  • Upgrades to the power systems between London and Shenfield as part of the preparation for the start of Elizabeth line services.

The programme of work will result in fewer delays and cancellations on the busy main line, which is a vital part of Anglia’s rail network. Delays on this line have a knock-on effect on branch lines, so passengers across the region will benefit from the upgrades.

Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, Ellie Burrows, said: “The main line to London is a critical part of the rail network in the Anglia region. We’re committed to improving reliability for our passengers and these upgrades are vital to making that happen, not just between Norwich and London but also for the connecting branch lines.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Manging Director, said: “These works will help to improve punctuality and performance along this vital part of the line.

“We will be running a rail replacement bus service while the work takes place. Passengers should check before they travel, allow more time for their journey and wear a face covering when travelling by train or rail replacement bus. We would like to reassure customers that we constantly monitor passenger numbers to ensure people can socially distance on buses as well as trains.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place.”

The upgrade of the overhead line equipment between Stratford and Maryland will continue over Christmas 2020 and weekends in January and February, completing by Easter 2021. More information for works planned at Christmas and in 2021 will be announced later this year. 

Notes to editors

Rail replacement services will be in place on the Great Eastern Main Line on the following dates and passengers should check their journey before they travel:

  • Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October
  • Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 October
  • Sunday 1 November
  • Sunday 8 November
  • Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 November
  • Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November

Rail replacement buses on the Great Eastern mainline and branch lines will run from 10.00 on the following Sundays:

  • 18 Oct
  • 1 Nov
  • 15 Nov

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515
Katie.Mack@networkrail.co.uk

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk