Less disruption for Greater Anglia passengers over the summer

Intercity train

After this weekend there should be few bus substitutions for passengers using Greater Anglia services. - Credit: Nick Strugnell/Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia and Network Rail are not planning for any major rail disruptions to weekend services over the summer as they try to win back more leisure passengers after two years of disruption.

This week Network Rail confirmed it had completed a project to upgrade drainage and track between Forest Gate and Maryland in east London - which had forced Greater Anglia to replace trains with buses for several weekends.

This Sunday there are buses replacing trains between Ipswich and Norwich and Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds.

But from then until September the rail lines on the eastern side of the region should be mainly clear apart from a few occasions when there is overnight work which might disrupt some trains in the late evening or early morning.

There is one weekend in mid-May when buses are likely to replace trains between Ipswich, Felixstowe and Woodbridge.

During the summer the major Network Rail work in the region is likely to be concentrated on the West Anglia route between Liverpool Street and Cambridge - so people wanting to travel to London from Bury St Edmunds may find it easier on some weekends to travel via Ipswich rather than Cambridge.

Over the last two years leisure travel has recovered from the Covid shocks faster than commuter numbers - and this has prompted rail operators to reconsider the way they offer services. Ultimately it could lead to fewer weekend closures.

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Greater Anglia is hoping to attract many more leisure passengers back to trains this summer - especially trips to London with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Keeping the lines clear over the long Bank Holiday weekend was always a priority as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to head to the capital for the celebrations.

People travelling during the Easter weekend could face a challenging journey as engineering works are expected to cause widespread delays and cancellations on rail networks.

Travel experts have called the timing "ludicrous" with the bank holiday weekend of April 15-18 being the first since Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.