Network Rail is carrying out essential works at Purfleet on the London to Grays (Tilbury Loop) rail line to reinforce the embankment and protect the tracks by preventing vegetation and debris falling onto the line. This work will help keep the line clear for those who need to travel by train.

Over time, the embankment at Purfleet has eroded and become unstable, which poses a risk to the tracks and passing trains. Trees and debris could fall on to the tracks below, causing damage to the overhead wires and passing trains, which ultimately leads to delays and cancellations. Network Rail’s contractors, Taziker, has installed a netting which will prevent this from happening.

As part of the works, four trees were earmarked for felling so that the netting could be installed, however, engineers have worked around this and installed the netting without the need to cut down three of these trees. One tree has been cut down owing to shallow roots and the risk of it falling onto the railway.

Fly-tipping on the embankment has created a problem of pollution and potential for items to fall onto the railway, as well as being an eyesore. These items have been removed and disposed of correctly by the team.

Engineers also took the opportunity to thank frontline NHS workers with a banner which was displayed during the works.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We’re carrying out critical works to keep the rail network running safely for those who need to use trains to get to work and to keep freight trains moving essential supplies around the country. This work will prevent damage to the tracks and passing trains, reducing delays and cancellations of essential journeys.”

Follow-up works are ongoing including renewal of the boundary fencing.