No weekend train services from region to London for two months
11:46 20 January 2015
No weekend train services will run between East Anglia and Liverpool Street for two months from the end of January.
The line will be closed between Manningtree and Shenfield every Saturday and Sunday from January 31 until March 22.
Abellio Greater Anglia will run a planned bus service for passengers to keep people moving.
New track is being installed in the Colchester, Marks Tey and Witham areas while at Chelmsford engineers are replacing overhead wires.
Officials from Network Rail insist they are making “robust preparations” to ensure the work is completed on time in the early hours of every Monday morning to ensure there are no repeats of the engineering over-runs that blighted tens of thousands of journeys after overnight engineering work last year.
However the state-owned company insisted the engineering work – costing £15 million – had to be completed to ensure the rail service sees improved reliability.
A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “Engineering work takes place every night of the week across the network – and without it the railway would literally stop moving.
“We take the potential of any issues seriously and can reassure passengers that every engineer is aware of how important it is to return the railway to use on time.
“It is only by investing in improving our infrastructure that we can deliver the safe and reliable railway that many people rely on.”
The company’s route managing director, Richard Schofield, said: “The project will deliver a more consistent and reliable service for passengers who travel on this line. We would like to thank passengers in advance for bearing with us over these weekends as it will mean some changes to their travel plans.”
Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: “Although there is never a good time for such engineering works, this investment by Network Rail will help in our joint objective to deliver more consistent train service performance on our mainline. We will be doing all we can to minimise inconvenience to passengers during the course of these works.”