Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

More weekend closures on East Anglia’s main rail line to London

PUBLISHED: 07:04 21 December 2017 | UPDATED: 07:04 21 December 2017

Engineers working on overhead wires at Gidea Park on the rail line to London. Picture: NETWORK RAIL

Engineers working on overhead wires at Gidea Park on the rail line to London. Picture: NETWORK RAIL

Archant

East Anglia will be cut off from London at weekends again for the first three months of 2018 as Network Rail engineers return to install new track and overhead lines on the route to Liverpool Street.

Embed code:

The news comes at the end of a year which will eventually have seen 24 weekends with no through rail services to London – in 2016 there were 22 weekends with no through services.

There will be no through weekend trains from the region to the capital in February and March – and no through Sunday services after January 14.

The disruption will continue until the long Easter weekend – March 30 to April 2 – after which no firm plans have been made by Network Rail.

However a spokeswoman for the infrastructure company said there was likely to be disruption during the two bank holiday weekends at the beginning and end of May as engineers worked to complete the line improvements before the start of Crossrail services on the new Elizabeth Line at the end of 2018.

When lines are closed, trains will finish at Ingatestone or Witham with a bus link to the Central Line tube station at Newbury Park – a move which adds at least 30 minutes to any journey to London.

Network Rail says it is now about to start the final year of work upgrading the track and overhead wires – many of which date from the 1950s.

It says the new equipment should be more reliable and will allow trains to continue whatever the weather conditions – at present trains have to slow down when it is very hot.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This work is crucial to improving rail travel in the East Anglia region, to provide more reliable services and improved connections across London.

“The number of people travelling by rail continues to grow and this investment programme forms a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to support this demand. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this work.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This work is vital for the modernisation of the railway in East Anglia, which both Network Rail and Greater Anglia, are committed to.

“We appreciate that engineering work is inconvenient to customers who would rather stay on the train for the whole of their journey. I would like to reassure people that we will make sure they can still complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus.”

Rail chairman Quince hopes for better service

Colchester MP Will Quince is chairman of the East Anglian Rail Taskforce – and said he understood the frustration that would be felt by many travellers who wanted to head to London.

But he also accepted the need for Network Rail to carry out the work.

He said: “The fact is that we knew there were two major issues that needed to be addressed to improve services in this region.

“We needed to get new trains – something that is being addressed by Greater Anglia – and there needed to be improvements to the track and infrastructure.

“That is being addressed by Network Rail because the infrastructure was getting old and outdated – but it does cause a lot of disruption while the work is taking place.

“People do feel cut off by this work and they are put off making weekend trips – but hopefully once the work is all completed by the end of next year we will have a more reliable service.”

Members of a drugs gang which dealt more than £250,000 worth of crack and heroin in Ipswich by exploiting vulnerable addicts have been jailed for a total of 25 years.

Ipswich Building Society demonstrates its commitment to its branch network - with Mutual House.

The site of the former Thurleston Cricket Centre on the edge of Ipswich could be cleared to make way for a new 66-room care home if planners agree.

The expiry date of the old £10 notes is approaching - make sure you check your purse and piggy banks to see if you have any.

The US musician, who performed at Ipswich’s Portman Road in 2005, has cancelled shows after Parkinson’s diagnosis.

Quiz night at Seckford Golf Club raises more than £1,200 for Eve appeal for fighting cancer.

The Ipswich beauty therapist has been named as a finalist in an industry competition.

An award-winning police officer has been sacked for engaging in an improper relationship with a witness.

The region’s ambulance trust, which is facing allegations of patient deaths due to delays, is to be the subject of a “risk summit”.

A gas fitter who crashed has van on the way home from an 11-hour Boxing Day binge has been handed a suspended jail term.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24