Travel advice for Christmas rail journeys in East Anglia
Greater Anglia is reassuring customers that the railway is open for travel this Christmas despite engineering works taking place near London.
Network Rail is carrying out engineering works from 23 December to 1 January between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street.
To keep people moving during this period, Greater Anglia has organised 750 buses to shuttle passengers from Ingatestone and Billericay, ensuring that they can still complete their journeys with minimum fuss, and will have 600 additional staff on hand over 10 days to help and direct passengers.
On the Norwich – London mainline, all train services will run as far as Ingatestone, from where passengers can hop onto a replacement coach service which will take them directly to Newbury Park for tube services into London.
On the Southend Victoria/ Southminster – London line, all train services will run as far as Billericay, from where passengers can hop onto a replacement coach service which will take them directly to Newbury Park for tube services into London.
For West Anglia services, Greater Anglia will operate a 1/2 hourly Stansted Express service, and hourly Liverpool Street to Cambridge service and an hourly Liverpool Street - Stansted stopping service.
Replacement buses will serve Hertford East and Broxbourne all day. Additionally, Greater Anglia will operate peak morning and evening train services between Liverpool Street and Hertford East on Wednesday 27 December 2017 to Friday 29 December 2017.
An easy-to-understand leaflet explaining the works and the changes to train services is available at staffed stations.
Greater Anglia has also asked other train operators to accept Greater Anglia tickets to make passengers’ journeys easier as follows:
- C2C will accept Greater Anglia Monthly / Annual Season tickets.
- London Underground will accept Greater Anglia ticket holders between Newbury Park and Liverpool Street.
- Great Eastern Mainline season tickets will be accepted at equivalent West Anglia stations.
- Customers to/ from Diss and Stowmarket buying walk-up tickets, including season tickets, will be permitted to travel via Bury St Edmunds and Cambridge into/ out of Kings Cross or Liverpool Street. This does not apply to customers from Ipswich or Needham Market.
- Customers wishing to use Oyster/PAYG to travel beyond Liverpool St on the Underground can either touch in at Newbury Park, at a cost of 40p more, or alight at Stratford, touch in on the platform there, and re-board for the same price, except 0630-0930 on 27 to 29 Dec when it is 50p cheaper to alight at Liverpool Street go through the barriers and touch in again.
Passengers are advised to plan their journeys in advance, check at Greater Anglia’s website, app or twitter account @greateranglia, pick up a leaflet or see posters at stations for amended services and last trains on Christmas Eve.
Greater Anglia’s Managing Director, Jamie Burles, said: "We will make sure that customers can complete their journeys during all periods of engineering works, even if part of it is by bus.
"Our rail replacement bus service operates very smoothly, with extra staff on hand to direct customers to the right bus.
"These works are crucial if we are to get the modern railway we need in East Anglia and combined with the new trains we’re getting to replace every single train on our network, should lead to a transformed railway for us all.”
Network Rail is replacing overhead wires between Shenfield and Seven Kings. The wires and structures have been in place since the 1950s making them some of the oldest in the country. Upgrading them will mean fewer problems, such as sagging wires during hot weather, and fewer delays for passengers in the future.
At the same time Network Rail will continue to work on the new Elizabeth Crossrail line, which is due to open at the end of 2018 and will bring improved journeys into central London for passengers in the region.