A landslip has caused damage to the tracks between Billericay and Wickford on the Southend Victoria line. Following a report from a train driver and an inspection by engineers, it was found that ballast, the stones that help keep tracks safely in place, have fallen away under a section of track.

As a safety measure, the Southend-bound line at this location has been closed, with trains able to run in both directions on the adjacent line. This has, though, meant a reduction in the number of trains Greater Anglia can run.

While inspections continue, the line is expected to be disrupted Thursday and Friday, with the line already planned to close this weekend for overhead line upgrade work. An update on when the line will reopen fully will be provided later this week.  Passengers are asked to check before they travel and plan for slightly longer journeys.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail route director for Anglia said: “Our first priority is the safety of passengers and staff working on the trains. We have our engineering teams on site and are assessing what damage has been done by this landslip and trying to identify how it occurred. We have already mobilised our supply chain to get the 500 tonnes of stone we need and will be focused on getting the embankment and tracks restored as quickly as we can.   We can run trains in both directions on this line, so while I’m sorry there will be some disruption for passengers, we will be working with Greater Anglia to run as many trains as we can for passengers. We will keep passengers and stakeholders updated as ”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, said: “We are working closely with Network Rail to restore the normal service as soon as is possible.  In the meantime, fewer trains are able to run. We are therefore currently operating a reduced service, which is supplemented by buses between Wickford and Shenfield.

“Customers should check before they travel and allow more time for their journeys. Travel information can be found on the Greater Anglia website, app or Twitter feed. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would like to thank customers for their patience.

“Anyone affected can claim delay repay at www.greateranglia.co.uk/delayrepay