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Published on : Monday, July 18, 2016
Passengers travelling on the railway line between Norwich and London are being asked to check before they travel ahead of complex improvement work this autumn and winter to deliver vital railway upgrades for the Crossrail programme, and to remove long-standing heat related speed restrictions.
The work will provide substantial benefits for passengers all the way up to Norwich and starts on Saturday, 17 September. It will affect Abellio Greater Anglia and TfL Rail services into Liverpool Street for eight weekends over the autumn period, followed by a further 10 days over the Christmas and New Year period.
The programme of work includes:
The complete remodelling of a key junction at Shenfield to help deliver more reliable journeys for passengers travelling from London to Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich by May 2017. These improvements will enable passenger and freight trains to travel through the area more freely, reducing the risk of delays to other services.
Work to replace more overhead wires between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street. This £250m project will improve reliability and significantly reduce the impact of heat-related disruption during the summer when overhead wires sag and speed restrictions are imposed.
Crossrail construction work continues at stations between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street providing improvements and extended platforms in preparation for the arrival of new air-conditioned trains that will start operating on the TfL Rail route between Shenfield and Liverpool Street station, from May 2017.
Signalling works and installation of station canopies and other structural steel works for the new Cambridge North station, due to open in May 2017.
In addition, TfL is replacing a road bridge at Ardleigh Green near Gidea Park, which has been timed to coincide with existing railway line closures to ensure minimum disruption to passengers.
A vast amount of work like this cannot take place while the railway is open and Network Rail has worked with train operators Abellio Greater Anglia and TfL Rail, to plan the closures at times when the fewest people use the railway.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This autumn and winter will see some of the biggest and most crucial changes on this route in years, helping improve passenger and freight services for everyone in the region. Our Railway Upgrade Plan is vital in helping deliver the new trains as part of the Crossrail construction project in 2017, and removing a long and painful speed restriction which will no longer delay trains in the heat of summer.
“While I understand the inconvenience and disruption that closing the railway causes, the initial and long-term benefits for passengers are huge and we cannot postpone the opportunity to provide a bigger and better railway for the people of East Anglia and London. I’d like to thank passengers for their understanding while we carry out the work and my advice is to check how their journeys will be affected before they travel so they can plan ahead.”
Jamie Burles, managing director for Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “We understand the significant impact engineering works has on our customers’ journeys and we thank them for their patience and understanding. We are working very hard to provide practical and comfortable rail replacement alternatives for people wanting to travel during these times. Due to the complex nature of the works we would recommend that customers check their itinerary before travelling as arrangements may differ over the course of the works. We are also working with Network Rail to try and move some other works in the Cambridge area that are currently planned for three of the weekends, to avoid any additional inconvenience to passengers.”
Major works to remodel the track and provide an extra platform at Shenfield are planned in early 2017 and will require TfL Rail services to terminate at Brentwood instead of Shenfield between January and May. Further details of how this work will affect train services will be available later this year.
Source:- Network Rail