Published on: Thursday, 20 October 2022
Last updated: Thursday, 20 October 2022
Services on Greater Anglia's Southminster line are due to return to normal from Monday 31 October - after weeks of emergency engineering work needed to repair damage caused by this summer's extremely hot and dry summer.
Network Rail has been carrying out repairs to the line since late August after discovering that the ground underneath the trackbed had shrunk in the summer, leaving the rails susceptible to cracking and buckling.
Since then, Greater Anglia has been running a reduced timetable as speed restrictions imposed due to the track condition meant that trains had to travel at lower speeds, so the normal timetable could not be operated reliably.
Although it was hoped the work could be completed quickly it has proved more difficult and complicated than expected, so a formal temporary timetable was introduced from Monday 3 October.
Network Rail has been carrying out repairs to the 16 miles of track every day since late August and now the work, which has been very complex, is nearly complete.
This Sunday, 23 October, buses will replace trains all day on the Southminster line while Network Rail carry out tamping along the route.
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: "We are very sorry for all the disruption and inconvenience our customers have experienced since the problem with the track was discovered in late summer and we'd also like to thank customers for their patience during this time.
"It was essential to carry out this work to prevent much more prolonged disruption. We have worked together with Network Rail to try and fix the problem as quickly as possible and minimise the disruption for passengers as far as was possible.”
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “We’ve worked as quickly as possible to realign the track on the Southminster branch line in order to reinstate the usual timetable and minimise the disruption for passengers. I want to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out these emergency works.”