Major upgrades have been completed on the region’s rail network to make improvements for passengers in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and East London.

Over the Christmas period, Network Rail engineers completed the following work as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan:

  • Installation of 12.5km overhead wire at Forest Gate on the Great Eastern Main Line as part of a £250m investment to improve reliability
  • Installation of structures that will carry new overhead wire on the Southend Victoria branch line as part of a £46m investment to reduce delays and cancellations especially in hot weather
  • Work on the Felixstowe branch line as part of the £60.4m project to install a new 1.4km loop near Trimley to increase freight traffic and improve reliability for passenger services
  • Works at Shenfield station as part of the Crossrail programme
  • Installation of new track, points, signalling equipment and overhead wire structures between Stratford and London Liverpool Street, at one of the busiest and most crucial points of the network, to reduce failures that cause delays
  • Replacement of overhead wire components at Colchester and Witham to reduce the risk of failures and improve reliability

Across the country, a 25,000-strong workforce worked more than 380,000 hours to keep the railway open and deliver 330 projects.

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: “Over the Christmas and New Year period hundreds of rail workers delivered crucial upgrades to Anglia’s rail network, to make improvements as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. I know that performance hasn’t been good recently and we have more work to do to improve this. I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding while these works were carried out.”

Further work will take place in early 2019 which will see the overhead wiring system upgraded on the final stretch between Forest Gate and London Liverpool Street and on the Southend Victoria branch line. Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk.

Notes to editors

Further work in 2019

Rail replacement services will run at weekends in 2019 as follows:

Dates

Rail replacement service

Saturday 12 January

 

Sunday 13 January

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 19 January

 

Sunday 20 January

 

Saturday 26 January

 

Sunday 27 January

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 2 February

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 3 February

Witham to Newbury Park

Saturday 9 February

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 10 February

Witham to Newbury Park

Saturday 16 February

Colchester to Ipswich

Sunday 17 February

Colchester to Ipswich

Saturday 23 February

Witham to Newbury Park

Sunday 24 February

Witham to Newbury Park

Saturday 2 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 3 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 9 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 10 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 16 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 17 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 23 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 24 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday 30 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 31 March

Ingatestone to Newbury Park