Network Rail engineers completed an array of improvements on the Norwich to London main line over the three-day bank holiday weekend to make rail services more reliable as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
Engineers made the most of the closure, with the completion of the following;
- 120 metres of track, one set of points, one new buffer stop and 1,200 tons of ballast were replaced at Colchester
- Installation of nearly 3km of track between Manningtree and Ardleigh
- Five structures that carry overhead wires were replaced between Marks Tey and Colchester
- Further work on the Felixstowe branch line as part of a £60.4m programme to install a 1.4km track loop near Trimley station, to enable an increase in freight services, as well as improvements to the reliability of existing passenger services.
Further closures will take place between Colchester and Chelmsford after the August bank holiday to renew the track. During weekends in September and October, buses will regularly replace trains between Ingatestone and Marks Tey, Colchester or Ipswich, and between Witham and Braintree (though a normal service will operate on the last Saturday in September, most Saturdays in October and the penultimate Sunday in October).
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have made some major improvements over the bank holiday weekend, which will prevent delays and cancellations on the busy main line as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. Hundreds of services use this line every day which causes wear on the track, bridges and other parts of the railway. That is why work like this is essential to keep services on the move. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while this work was carried out.”
Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles said: “We are very grateful to customers for their patience and understanding while this work was carried out. We booked 300 buses so everyone could complete their journeys, and extra staff were on hand to make sure customers caught the right bus.
“These engineering works are vital to improve the railway in East Anglia for everyone, making it more reliable for generations to come.”