Rail delays continue after setback for engineers repairing main line after Essex landslip

Track at Ingatestone

Network Rail engineers are repairing track at Ingatestone in Essex. - Credit: Network Rail

Work to repair the main rail line between East Anglia and London will continue until the weekend at least after engineers trying to repair a landslip in Essex encountered a setback on Monday.

The Great Eastern Main Line has been partially blocked at Ingatestone, between Chelmsford and Shenfield, since last Friday after a landslip created a dip in one of the tracks.

That had to be closed - and trains have had to use the single other track to travel both ways all week. That has caused cancellations and delays although the impact was reduced because Greater Anglia have reduced services because of the pandemic.

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said their  engineers had been working around the clock to make repairs, but further works are now required after further problems with the embankment were discovered on Monday night.

A further update on the problems will be given on Friday, but in the meantime passengers who are allowed to travel for vital journeys only are advised to check Greater Anglia’s website or app for the latest travel information. 

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “I understand how frustrating it is that the work is taking longer than expected and I’m sorry for the disruption this is causing to passengers. We are doing everything we can to carry out the repairs quickly so that we can safely reopen the line.

“I know that this has been very disruptive for passengers and for those living nearby and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience. I’d like to say a special thank you to those who have worked with us to give us access to the site and enable us to carry out these emergency repairs.”

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Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience while engineers work to repair the railway, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused. Although the work is taking longer than anticipated, safety is our top priority.

“We are running a reduced timetable for all services which travel through Ingatestone. Customers should check before they travel and allow more time for their journey. We will keep our website updated with any changes to our services."