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

Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
020 3356 2515

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