Southend passengers using rail services at the weekends are urged to check before they travel as work to transform the line continues from January.

The following work will take place at weekends from 5 January until 14 April 2019 as part of a £46m upgrade to completely replace the overhead wiring system to improve reliability.

  • Installation of 23 new structures and steelwork which will carry the overhead wire between Rayleigh and Hockley
  • Installation of 18km overhead wire between Wickford and Hockley

Greater Anglia and Network Rail will be giving further details in the New Year about dates of remaining work necessary to complete the project.

The existing wiring system, which was built in the 1950s, and is the oldest in the country, is being replaced with a new system that will be more reliable, adapts to temperature changes and will mean fewer delays and cancellations for passengers.

These upgrades will also support the introduction of Greater Anglia’s new trains and allow for more services to run in the future to meet growing demand on the busy line.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Upgrading the overhead wiring system is absolutely vital to run a reliable service for our Southend passengers and to support the growing number of people using this line. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience while this work takes place.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We apologise to customers for the disruption this engineering works causes. We are well aware of the inconvenience this project has caused to our customers. We are working closely with Network Rail to try to minimise further disruption as far as possible. We know people would rather stay on the train for the whole of their journey, but we will continue to make sure customers can complete their journeys, even if part of it is by rail.  We and Network Rail are investing heavily in the railway in the Southend area so that it will be more reliable and served by modern state of the art trains.”

So far, over 400 structures, which will carry the new wires, have been installed between Shenfield and Southend. Between Shenfield and Wickford, 19km new overhead wire has been installed. A total of 128km will be installed along the whole line.

Notes to editors

Rail replacement service

Dates

Southend Victoria Line

Saturday 12 January

Southend to Shenfield (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 13 January

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park(calling at all stations in between)

Saturday 19 January

Southend to Shenfield (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 20 January

Saturday 26 January

Southend to Shenfield (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 27 January

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Saturday 2 February

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 3 February

Saturday 9 February

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 10 February

Saturday 16 February

Southend to Shenfield (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 17 February

Saturday 23 February

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 24 February

Saturday 2 March

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 3 March

Saturday 9 March

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 10 March

Saturday 16 March

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 17 March

Saturday 23 March

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 24 March

Saturday 30 March

Southend to Shenfield / Newbury Park (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 31 March

Saturday 6 April

Southend to Shenfield  (calling at all stations in between)

Sunday 7 April

Saturday 13 April

Southend to Shenfield  (calling at all stations in between)