Rail staff on hand to talk about Southend Victoria nine-day line closure

Monday, 25 March 2019

Passengers on the Southend Victoria line can find out more about a forthcoming nine-day closure of the line at customer engagement events at stations along the route starting this week.

Network Rail is replacing all the overhead wires and structures between Southend Victoria and Shenfield in a £46 million project.

The existing wires are nearly 70 years old and do not cope well with extreme weather conditions, especially hot weather which makes them sag. They are being replaced with a new auto tension system that is much more reliable.

In order to speed up completion of the upgrade with fewer weekend and mid-week late night engineering works, Network Rail and Greater Anglia have agreed to close the line between Southend Victoria and Wickford for nine days during the Whitsun half term holiday, from Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June, to allow engineers concentrated access to the site.

Customers are advised to make alternative travel arrangements, as there will only be a limited rail replacement bus service and a reduced train service between Wickford and London Liverpool Street. Timetables will shortly be available on the Greater Anglia website.

The train service between Wickford and London Liverpool Street will be revised, with shorter trains running less frequently, because access to the Southend depot, where trains are parked, maintained and cleaned overnight, will also be blocked by the works and there is no alternative location to keep them.

Greater Anglia and Network Rail managers will be on hand to answer customer queries and give more details about the works at the following locations over forthcoming weeks:

  • Billericay, Thursday 28 March, 17.30-20.00
  • Wickford, Wednesday 3 April, 17.30-19.00
  • Rayleigh, Monday 8 April, 17.30-19.00
  • Hockley, Wednesday 17 April, 17.45-19.15
  • Rochford, Wednesday 24 April, 17.45-19.15

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We are sorry for inconvenience that this closure causes our customers. We’ve given people as much notice as possible so that they can plan ahead.

“This work is important as we all want a more modern and reliable railway and this way it causes fewer disruptive weekend and mid-week late night engineering works.”

Meliha Duymaz, managing director for Network Rail Anglia, said: “I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience while this important work to upgrade the Southend Victoria line continues.

“We’re working with Greater Anglia to accelerate our programme of works, and by putting in extra resources they will finish sooner which means fewer midweek and weekend closures.

“This £46m investment to repair and upgrade the overheard wires from the 1950s is vital to supporting the growing number of passengers using this line as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan by making journeys more reliable.”

For further information and updates about the project, visit www.greateranglia.co.uk/southendworks.