Rail passengers face 10 days of disrupted trips to London over Christmas

Network Rail will be closing the line to London for 10 days over Christmas and the New Year. Picture

Network Rail will be closing the line to London for 10 days over Christmas and the New Year. Picture: NETWORK RAIL - Credit: Archant

There will be no through trains between East Anglia and London for 10 days over the Christmas and New Year period for the third year running.

Network Rail is using the Christmas break to install 12.5km of overhead lines in the Forest Gate area on the Great Eastern Main Line, so there will be no trains between Ingatestone and Liverpool Street between December 23 and New Year’s Day.

Passengers will have to catch a bus connection between Ingatestone and Newbury Park tube station on the Central Line to reach London. Their journeys will be at least 30 minutes longer.

Trains will run as far as Shenfield from December 28 – but the bus link will continue to operate from Ingatestone.

There will also be no trains on the Felixstowe branch between December 23 and December 27 while work to install extra track at Trimley continues.

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Network Rail is also warning travellers that the disruption to journeys to London will continue at weekends in the New Year as it carries on upgrading the track and overhead wires in preparation for the introduction of Elizabeth Line services on the Crossrail line under London from Shenfield to Reading.

These services should be operating by Christmas 2019.

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Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We are making a huge investment into Anglia’s rail network to carry out major improvements to rail travel in the region as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“This means that the line will be closed over the Christmas period to allow our engineers to carry out these important upgrades. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this work and advise them to check before they travel.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We know customers would rather stay on the train all the way to their destination, but I’d like to assure passengers that they will still be able to complete their journeys over the festive season, even if part of it is by bus.

“We’re sorry that customers are inconvenienced by these works, but together with Network Rail, we’re working to transform the railway in East Anglia. Next year the first of our new trains that we’re getting to replace all of our existing trains will come into service.”

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