More disruption on the way for East Anglia’s trains – but who will notice?
PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 June 2020
Rail passengers travelling to London and across East Anglia could face more disruption over autumn and winter after Network Rail announced a series of track and overhead line works.
The works will be taking place mainly at weekends between September and the end of the year – and there will probably be no trains to London over the Christmas and New Year holiday, periods because work is likely to take place at Stratford.
However it is not clear how many people will be affected – at present trains are only running for essential journeys and are only carrying about 5% of normal passenger numbers. No-one knows when passengers will be encouraged to return, especially for leisure journeys.
Over the next six months, Network Rail’s engineers will carry out the following pieces of work as part of the improvement package:
■ Track renewal and resignalling work on the Clacton branch throughout autumn
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■ Renew track near Elmswell, between Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds, between July and September
■ Renew track at Colchester and Needham Market in the autumn
■ Renew track at Somerleyton between Lowestoft and Norwich
■ Replace the overhead wires at Stratford over Christmas.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “I know passengers want to see improvements to the rail network in Anglia, and we’ve planned in a package of work to do just that. We have tried to minimise the impact on journeys by grouping projects together where we can, but this amount of work simply cannot be carried out without some closures.
“I also know that passengers like to know about how their journeys are going to be affected in good time, and that’s why we’ve announced this package of works scheduled for the next six months.
“While the government advice is still to only use public transport if absolutely necessary, I hope this information will be crucial as and when restrictions are lifted.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “It is important that Network Rail carries out this work to make our railway more reliable. We will make sure that passengers can always complete their journeys, even if part of it is by rail replacement bus.
“We would remind customers to wear face coverings if they have to travel on all forms of public transport including our trains and rail replacement buses.”
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