Essential rail works will take place on the Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze branch lines during the Late May Bank Holiday weekend to improve reliability for those who need to travel and when more passengers return in the future.

Network Rail’s engineers will carry out track maintenance and replace hundreds of components on the overhead wires on the Clacton-on-Sea branch line as part of a package of work to increase reliability, reducing delays and cancellations. Bridge track supports will also be replaced between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton-on-Sea and new rails will be installed at Weeley.

This means a rail replacement service will run between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze from Saturday 22 May to Tuesday 25 May and those who need to travel by train are advised to check how their journey will be affected.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Our teams are carrying out vital upgrades and maintenance work to keep the rail network running safely and smoothly and reduce the number of delays and cancellations. This will benefit those who need to travel now and improve reliability for when more passengers return. Those who need to travel by train should check how their journey will be affected and follow the latest government advice on travelling.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “Government advice is still to only travel if it’s absolutely necessary. We will run a rail replacement bus service for key workers and those who do need to make essential journeys and measures will be in place to help people socially distance. Anyone who does need to make an essential journey should follow government advice and use a face covering.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience, and both Network Rail and Greater Anglia staff for their continued hard work and dedication in keeping the railway running.”

A rail replacement service will run. Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Passengers are reminded to only travel by train if their journey is absolutely necessary.