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Trains running again from Ipswich to London after Christmas shutdown

PUBLISHED: 14:37 02 January 2019

Network Rail engineers spent the Christmas period improving the tracks and overhead wires on the route to London. Picture; NETWORK RAIL

Network Rail engineers spent the Christmas period improving the tracks and overhead wires on the route to London. Picture; NETWORK RAIL

Archant

Network Rail engineers completed their 10-day programme of overhead line replacement between Shenfield and Stratford on time allowing trains to resume journeys to London.

However a fault on another section of track at Seven Kings – which was not part of the Christmas/New Year upgrade – meant that there were delays for some commuters heading into London for the first day back after the holiday season.

Over the Christmas period:

Network Rail engineers completed installing 12.5km overhead wire at Forest Gate.

Carried out work on the Felixstowe branch line as part of the £60.4m project to install a new 1.4km loop near Trimley.

Carried out work at Shenfield station as part of the Crossrail programme

Installed new track, points, signalling equipment and overhead wire structures between Stratford and Liverpool Street.

And replaced wire components at Colchester and Witham to reduce the risk of failures and improve reliability.

However as services got back to normal, commuters and other travellers were coming to terms with fare increases – the 3.1% rises for regulated fares came under fire from passenger groups after a year where there have been problems on the tracks.

The chair of the Great Eastern task force, Witham MP Priti Patel, said: “Commuters in Essex are already paying some of the highest fares nationally and today’s fare increase will add further pressure on their pay packets.

“Both Greater Anglia and Network Rail need to do more to better the service on offer to passengers by limiting disruption caused by signal failures and overrunning engineering works and improve train punctuality.”

Meliha Duymaz of Network Rail said: “Over the Christmas and New Year period hundreds of rail workers delivered crucial upgrades to Anglia’s rail network, to make improvements as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“I know that performance hasn’t been good recently and we have more work to do to improve this. I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding while these works were carried out.”

However more work is coming to the main line which will mean no weekend through trains to London between the end of January and April.

Where will the disruption hit?

Rail replacement bus services will run at weekends in 2019 as follows:

Sunday 13 January: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 27 January: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 2/3 February: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 9/10 February: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 16/17 February: Colchester to Ipswich

Saturday 23 February: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 24 February: Witham to Newbury Park

Saturday 2 March: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Sunday 3 March: Witham to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 9/10 March: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 16/17 March: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 23/24 March: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

Saturday/Sunday 30/31 March: Ingatestone to Newbury Park

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