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East London and Essex railway upgrades

We are carrying out a series of works to improve the Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line and the Tilbury loop between Barking and Pitsea. 

We are aiming to improve the reliability and punctuality of train services on what is already one of Britain’s best performing railway lines by putting passengers first.  

Renewing the overhead line electrification (OLE) system

Improving reliability and reducing faults on this key part of the system that delivers electrical power to the trains will help passengers feel more confident about travelling by rail.

We are installing new foundations for new overhead line structures and we are replacing 219 kilometres of over-head wire as part of the work to renew the overhead line electrification (OLE) system.

Map showing the line we are working on between Fenchurch Street and
Pitsea (via the Tilbury loop) and along the mainline to Hornchurch

Our programme of OLE renewal work will deliver:

  • A modern infrastructure system in line with 21st century standards
  • A more reliable electrification system which will require less maintenance, meaning less cost and disruption
  • Reduced likelihood of equipment failures and power outages

These improvements will help us keep the railway operating reliably and efficiently for the growing number of passengers and freight services using the line for years to come.

When will this OLE upgrade work be delivered? 

This work started in April 2021 by installing new foundations for OLE structures in various locations. Residents living close to the railway may notice this work happening from time to time, but notice will be provided ahead of any planned work.

Since October 2021, wiring and structure renewal started in the Pitsea area and will continue along the line for several years.

We’ll keep passengers and local residents updated as the programme develops.

Upgrading Track Reliability 

As well as the overhead line renewal work, we’re also replacing track along the line from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness and along the Tilbury Loop line. These vital renewals will help reduce the number of track faults which can also result in delays or cancellations for passengers.

We’re also replacing points at Southend Central, Barking, Upminster, East Ham, Grays West and Thameshaven Junction. Points play an important role as they are moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another and allow them to cross paths.

Once replaced, the new track and points should result in fewer track faults, fewer closures for maintenance and fault finding and increased reliability, meaning fewer delays and cancellations.

Find out more information on our wider Anglia track renewal programme.

BRE bridge installation
Install of viaduct deck spans at Tilbury

Will train services be affected? 

To allow us to work on the track and overhead lines safely, there will be some disruption to services on selected weekends and bank holidays. We urge all passengers to check with the c2c train operator or at National Rail Enquiries.

Contact us about our investment programme 

If you’re interested in finding out more about our programme to replace OLE equipment, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41. You can also follow us on Twitter @networkrailANG and use the project hashtag #ELERail 

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