Work to improve journeys for rail passengers in Southend resumes from Saturday 25 January between Southend Victoria and Shenfield.

Network Rail is replacing the overhead wires with a new auto tension system that adapts to temperature changes, meaning fewer delays and cancellations. This is part of a £46m project to improve the reliability of services for years to come to support the growing number of passengers using the Southend Victoria line.

The winter weekends phase of works is due to complete by the end of March, two months earlier than originally planned, with six fewer weekend closures and 11 mid-week closures owing to an acceleration of the delivery programme.

This final phase of weekend works starts the weekend of 25-26 January and continues each weekend until 28-29 March (apart from 8/9 February when there is no work).

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail route director, Anglia, said: “We’re now in the final stages of this vital work to improve rail services in Southend which will result in fewer delays and cancellations for our passengers. As with all large-scale projects this has taken time to complete and I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience while we carry out these upgrades.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We’d like to thank our customers for their continued patience with these works. It’s been a major project, which has involved a great deal of inconvenience to our customers, but it is now nearly finished.

“With brand new overhead wires, which are much more robust in varying weather conditions, and new trains, which will come into passenger service from this spring, we will have a railway fit for the 21st century on the Southend Victoria line.”

Following this, there will be one further weekend of works over the weekend of 18-19 April when the track ballast will be replaced to enable efficient drainage along the track.  

While the works are being carried out, buses will replace trains and further details are available on the Greater Anglia website.

Notes to Editors

The rail replacement service will be in place between Southend Victoria and Newbury Park for the Central line and between Southminster and Wickford on the following weekends:

25 – 26 January

15 – 16 February

22 – 23 February

29 February – 1 March

7 – 8 March

14 – 15 March

21 – 22 March

28 – 29 March

18 – 19 April

Rail replacement will be in place between Southend Victoria and Shenfield on the weekend of 1-2 February.

More details can be found at