Anglia OLE renewals

Replacing the overhead wires between London Liverpool Street, Chelmsford and Southend Victoria.

Southend Victoria branch line

As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we are replacing the overhead wiring system on the Southend Victoria branch line as part of a £46m investment. The wiring system currently in place along the route was installed in the 1950s and needs replacing to prevent frequent failures that cause delays, in order to improve reliability of the rail service.

The replacement includes wires, structures, masts and steelwork.

The programme is a key part of transforming rail services for Southend passengers over the next two years. This means a bigger and better railway, including:

  • fewer delays and cancellations – especially in hot weather
  • allowing for more train services to support the growing number of passengers, new housing, and the local economy including the busy airport
  • supporting the introduction of Greater Anglia’s new trains which will start to come into service from 2019 with fast, free wifi, air conditioning, and plug and USB sockets

Over the last few months, Greater Anglia and Network Rail have looked at what can be done to speed up the works and for them to be carried out at times which are less inconvenient for customers.

Working together, Greater Anglia and Network Rail have confirmed a revised plan which includes:

  • The continuation of the current weekend closures until 29 and 30 June 2019
  • Midweek closures in March and April will take place on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. These will start later with the last trains from London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria running at 10:45. To accomodate this, the first train the following morning will run at 05:00 from Southend Victoria rather than the usual time of 04:00
  • The line between Wickford  and Southend Victoria will close for nine days over the May 2019 half term holidays (25 May - 2 June). A rail replacement bus service will run between all intermediate stations, but customers are advised to use alternative transport where possible.
  • The line will remain open for most of the summer months. There will be no weekend closures during July and most of August, with the exception of the first trains starting later on Sumday mornings and a full closure over the August bank holiday weekend.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel. A rail replacement bus service will operate during the blockade between 25 May and 2 June 2019.

Contact us about our OLE renewals programme

If you’re interested in finding out more about our programme to replace overhead wires, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.