Passengers thanked as 10 weekends of railway improvements in Essex completed

Rail chiefs today said a big thank you to passengers from London, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, who have had to take weekend travel alternatives into London Liverpool Street since early February, after Network Rail completed a 10-weekend package of works as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers.

The orange army has been out in force every weekend to replace old overhead wiring and track, improving the reliability of the line, especially in summer, and delivering a huge array of works including installing new footbridges and extending platforms for the Crossrail project, which will transform journeys across the capital when it is operating as the Elizabeth line from December 2018.

Over the 10-weekends, improvement works by Network Rail’s orange army included:

  • Installation of more than 16km of new overhead lines
  • Replacing more than 3.5km of new track, including the rails, sleepers and ballast
  • Installation of a new footbridge at Harold Wood
  • Station platform extensions at Brentwood, Chadwell Heath, Gidea Park, Goodmayes and Harold Wood
  • Continuing the refurbishment of the footbridge at Gidea Park
  • Installed cable troughs at Stratford to Forest Gate and Ilford to Seven Kings
  • Footbridge refurbishment at Goodmayes
  • Lift shaft construction at Forest Gate, Goodmayes and Gidea Park
  • Installation of foundations for new overhead line equipment between Shenfield and Hockley
  • Plus various other remodelling works to prepare for new Crossrail project equipment at Shenfield and throughout the route.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia said:

“We have a massive investment programme under way, as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, which will help improve journeys for the millions that use this vital artery into London. While I know it can be frustrating when we close the railway, it’s only getting busier as more people want to travel by rail, so we have to do as much as we can at weekends. The team has delivered some big improvements to the Anglia railway over this 10-week period but I want to give a big thanks to all the passengers and our neighbours for their patience and understanding.”

Andrew Goodrum, Customer Service Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said:

“We’re grateful for the patience and understanding of our customers using the Mainline and Southend Victoria routes over the past ten weekends while Network Rail have been carrying out improvement works as part of their upgrade plans. We have worked together with Network Rail during this period to provide the best possible alternative service and its great news for our customers that this programme has been successfully completed, meaning less planned engineering works over the coming weeks and months.”

Howard Smith, TfL’s Operations Director for Crossrail, said:

“I would like to thank the passengers using TfL Rail services between Liverpool Street and Shenfield for their patience whilst these works have taken place. We worked closely with Network Rail and MTR who operate the line on behalf of TfL to ensure that passengers have had alternative travel options during this closure. Passenger numbers are increasing significantly on the route and a huge amount of work is taking place on track, stations and depots ready for full Elizabeth line services in December 2018.”