Network Rail to clear East Anglia’s main route over Easter bank holiday
PUBLISHED: 16:04 11 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 11 March 2019
Rail passengers from East Anglia who fancy an Easter day out in London should find themselves able to make the journey with no bus replacements for the first time in several years.
Buses will replace trains between Ipswich and Norwich and Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds on Easter Sunday – and there will be no trains on the Felixstowe branch throughout the holiday period.
But at other times rail services should run according to the normal timetable as Network Rail engineers move on to the lines from London to Southend, not affecting the Great Eastern Main Line.
A spokesman for Network Rail said officials were pleased to be able to clear the lines to London over Easter – but was not able to rule out the possibility that there might be work to be undertaken over the two May bank holiday weekends.
However the major work replacing overhead wires between Stratford and Shenfield and improving stations on the route was now nearing completion.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “A large part of the network is engineering-free this Easter and as ever we’d advise people to check before they travel.”
There are no through trains between the region and London at weekends for the rest of March – but trains do operate at the weekends from the first weekend in April.
The work between Stratford and Shenfield is linked to the development of the Crossrail “Elizabeth Line” which will eventually run underneath the centre of London linking south Essex stations with Reading and Heathrow Airport to the west of the capital.
It should also improve the reliability of trains from this region by replacing the overhead lines which have used technology first developed in the 1940s until recently.
They will also allow electric trains to travel faster during periods of extreme temperature by not sagging during hot spells.
There are some other works taking place on branch lines in the region – anyone planning a trip to the north Norfolk coast over Easter will find train services between Cromer and Sheringham replaced by buses as Network Rail rebuilds Sheringham station to ensure its platform is long enough to cope with the new trains that are due to be introduced on regional services later this year.