Better weekend services for 2014

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Passengers travelling on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML), between Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Chelmsford and London, are set to benefit from better weekend rail services again from this month.

Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail have worked together to reduce the amount of planned weekend engineering work which requires bus replacement services for the remainder of the year.

Under the improvement works schedule for 2014, there are no more full days planned at weekends where bus replacement services will operate on the GEML April until the end of the year.

This is the second successive year where the close alliance between Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail (as part of the existing Greater Anglia franchise) has provided an improved train service at weekends by achieving a better balance between delivering infrastructure improvements for the railway whilst working to minimise the need for bus replacement services when engineering work is taking place.

Abellio Greater Anglia’s Customer Service Director, Andrew Goodrum, said: “With no further planned bus replacement services at weekends for the rest of the year, our customers will experience less disruption and easier journeys on the mainline. This real benefit for passengers has been achieved by scheduling infrastructure works more innovatively, to put our customers’ needs first whilst also maintaining important improvements."

Richard Schofield, Network Rail Route Managing Director for Anglia, said: "Over the last year we have effectively changed the way we have undertaken our maintenance and upgrade programmes in partnership with Abellio Greater Anglia for the benefit of passengers.  

“We recognise there is never a convenient time to close the railway and we’ve worked hard to honour the commitment we made to reduce the amount of disruptive engineering work carried out over weekends, a positive initiative we’re pleased to extend into 2014.

“There is still work to do to improve things further but we believe we’ve have found a much better balance, which I hope passengers will welcome."

Most weekends will involve a normal direct train service to London Liverpool Street, although there will be some Sundays (and two Saturdays) when either a slightly amended timetable will operate or passengers will need to change trains at Colchester, plus three Sundays when passengers will need to change onto the Central Line at Stratford to complete journeys to / from Liverpool Street.

Essential overnight work will still take place on other weekends, meaning that some very late night Saturday, early Sunday morning and very late Sunday journeys may involve bus replacement journeys, but any disruption to passengers will be limited. There will also be some late night alterations on Mondays to Wednesdays during the year. 

Passengers can obtain information on any service alterations at stations or from the website at