Passengers are set to reap the benefits following major upgrades to the region’s rail network over Easter. All projects were delivered on time.
As part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and East London, Network Rail engineers:
- Replaced 9.5 km of overhead lines and structures between Billericay and Shenfield as part of a project to improve reliability for passengers on the Southend Victoria line.
- Improved the reliability of the line between London Fenchurch Street station and Barking by renewing track at West Ham and replacing two bridges at Caroline Street and Devonport Street in Limehouse, East London
- Renewed old signalling equipment between Norwich and Lowestoft
- Renewed track at Stowmarket and carried out track maintenance work between King’s Lynn and Littleport; and
- Made significant capacity improvements on the Felixstowe branch line to allow more container traffic to move on the line each day to and from the port of Felixstowe
Nationally, a 13,800 strong workforce worked across the country to keep the railway open and delivered more reliable infrastructure, improved facilities and services for passengers.
The work was completed at the quietest time for rail travel on the country’s railway with around half the normal number of passengers travelling compared to the 4.7 million who typically use the network daily.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Anglia’s Team Orange worked extremely hard over the Easter holidays to maintain and upgrade the railway, helping us to deliver more reliable services for passengers and freight users for years to come.
“We know there is never a good time to close the railway but I want to offer a big thank you to passengers and our line side neighbours for their continued understanding while we carried out this work.”
With the May bank holidays fast-approaching, Network Rail is urging passengers to plan their journeys in advance of the forthcoming bank holiday weekends (5-7 May and 25-27 May).
Some of the work in the Anglia region includes:
- A nine-day closure of the line between Southend Victoria and Wickford to replace overhead wires that is happening between 25 May and 2 June, with train services replaced by buses
- Improving the reliability of the track between Fenchurch Street and East Ham that takes place across both bank holidays
- Continuing the upgrade to platforms at Sheringham station
- Renewing overhead line equipment, switches and crossings – movable sections of rail that guide trains from one track to another- and track maintenance between Ipswich and Norwich/Bury St Edmonds from 25 to 27 May
- TfL will be carrying out extensive overhead line renewals and signalling work between Barking and Purfleet that will enable future services to run as part of the Barking Riverside extension project that takes places across both bank holidays
Meliha Duymaz added: “We're continuing to improve the railway in our region over the next two bank holidays but that will mean some disruption while we carry out these improvements for passengers. While a lot of the network will be open, if you are thinking about travelling, please plan ahead by checking with your train operator or visiting the National Rail Enquiries website.”