Ipswich: Passengers face rail delays as weekend works carried out

RAIL passengers hoping to travel to London face delays at weekends for weeks ahead as engineers close off the route to carry out work.

The Ipswich to London Liverpool Street route faces extensive overhead wiring works, which means weekend passengers will be forced to get off a train at Witham, before boarding a replacement bus to Billericay. From Billericay, passengers will then have to connect on to Southend Victoria services to and from Liverpool Street.

As well as the work being carried out at weekends, services after 11.20pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays will also be affected.

The work had begun earlier this year and was being carried out on Sundays, but was suspended due to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The upgrade of the overline line will be taking place until November 24 and 25 and should mean Network Rail does not have to return to carry out work on the line during 2013.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the wiring, which was first put in place in 1949, was in desperate need of replacement.

He said: “We recognise that any disruptive work can be frustrating for passengers, but this work is absolutely essential to make sure our railway runs smoothly.

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“We have been working with Greater Anglia to deliver a better train service for passengers across the East Anglia region, and part of this work includes looking again at our engineering works schedule for next year.

“We still need to be able to renew and maintain the railway but we are looking at how we could do things differently to enable more weekend services to run in 2013.”

Meanwhile, commuters travelling to work yesterday were stuck in lengthy delays due to signalling problems at Stowmarket.

Customers wanting further information can call National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.