Passengers in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and East London are advised to check before they travel this Christmas and in early 2019 as major railway upgrades are planned.
Over the Christmas period, Network Rail engineers will be carrying out the following upgrades to the network 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 a £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
- While the line is closed, TfL will carry out bridge demolition work as part of the Ardleigh Green Bridge project near Romford
Passengers are advised to check before they travel as there will be changes to services between Ingatestone and London Liverpool Street on the main line and between Billericay and Southend on the Southend Victoria line. This will affect Greater Anglia and TfL Rail services from Sunday 23 December to Tuesday 1 January.
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. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We are making a huge investment into Anglia’s rail network to carry out major improvements to rail travel in the region as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. This means that the line will be closed over the Christmas period to allow our engineers to carry out these important upgrades. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this work and advise them to check before they travel.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia Managing Director said: “We know customers would rather stay on the train all the way to their destination, but I’d like to assure passengers that they will still be able to complete their journeys over the festive season, even if part of it is by bus. We’re sorry that customers are inconvenienced by these works, but together with Network Rail, we’re working to transform the railway in East Anglia. Next year the first of our new trains that we’re getting to replace all of our existing trains will come into service.”
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk. A breakdown of how journeys will be affected by improvement work across Britain over the Christmas and New Year period can be found by visiting nationalrail.co.uk/Christmas.
Notes to editors
Greater Anglia passengers
Norwich to London mainline
Sunday 23, Monday 24, Thursday 27, Friday 28, Saturday 29, Sunday 30 and Monday 31 December and Tuesday 1 January
A rail replacement bus service will run between Ingatestone and Newbury Park, where passengers can use their Greater Anglia tickets on the Central Line.
Trains will terminate at Ingatestone on Saturday 23, Sunday 24 and Thursday 27 December and at Shenfield on Friday 28, Saturday 29, Sunday 30, Monday 31 December and Tuesday 1 January, but the rail replacement bus service to and from Newbury Park will run from Ingatestone from Saturday 23 December to Tuesday 1 January, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day when there is no service.
Southend Victoria line
Sunday 23, Monday 24, Thursday 27 and Friday 28 December
A rail replacement bus service will run between Billericay and Newbury Park.
Saturday 29, Sunday 30, Monday 31 December and Tuesday 1 January
A rail replacement bus service will run between Southend Victoria and Newbury Park.
From Sunday 23 to Tuesday 1 January, the Stansted Express service will be reduced to half-hourly, except for on Christmas Day, when there is no service, and on Boxing Day, when it will run between Tottenham Hale and Stansted Airport.
Saturday 22 December (from 18.50), Sunday 23, Monday 24 and Thursday 27
Buses replace trains between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
TfL Rail passengers
All dates below are inclusive
Sunday 23 – Monday 24 December
Shenfield and London Liverpool Street*
Tuesday 25 – Wednesday 26 December
Thursday 27 December
Shenfield to Liverpool Street until 10:30am and then Romford to Liverpool Street**
Friday 28 December – Tuesday 1 January
Romford to Liverpool Street***
* two replacement bus services in operation: Shenfield to Newbury Park calling at stations via Chadwell Heath & Romford to Stratford calling at all stations except Maryland
** until 10:30: two replacement bus services in operation: Shenfield to Newbury Park calling at stations via Chadwell Heath & Romford to Stratford calling at all stations except Maryland and after 10:30: two replacement bus services in operation: Stratford to Romford calling at all stations except Maryland & Romford to Newbury Park calling at Chadwell Heath
*** two replacement bus services in operation: Stratford to Romford calling at all stations except Maryland & Romford to Newbury Park calling at Chadwell Heath
Further work in 2019
Rail replacement services will run at weekends in 2019. More details will be available nearer the time.