Easter holiday rail improvements across East London, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk

Easter engineering works
Credit: Network Rail
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Network Rail is reminding passengers to check train times if they are travelling across East London, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk as it completes upgrades across the regions.

Passengers are set to benefit from the work, however, anyone travelling between 19-22 April and is reminded to check before they travel as 13,800 engineers will be working across the country to deliver improvements including a more reliable infrastructure, improved facilities and services for passengers.

On the Anglia route, there will be no trains between Shenfield and Southend Victoria with services replaced by buses.

c2c services will be diverted to Liverpool Street instead of Fenchurch Street from Friday 19 April to Monday 22 April – this is because the station will be closed, except for services on the Rainham line which will be replaced by buses.

Engineers will work on a number of projects. Below is some of the work that will be carried out over Easter:

  • Replacing 9.5 km of overhead lines and structures between Billericay and Shenfield
  • Replacing two bridges and renewing track at Caroline Street and Devenport Street in Limehouse, East London. This means no trains running to or from London Fenchurch Street.
  • TfL will be carrying out extensive overhead line renewals and signalling work between Barking and Purfleet that will enable future services to run as part of the Barking Riverside extension project
  • renewing old signalling equipment between Norwich and Lowestoft
  • renewing track at Stowmarket and maintenance work between King’s Lynn and Littleport
  • significant improvements on the Felixstowe branch line to allow more container traffic to move on the line each day to and from the port of Felixstowe

There is also advance notice of some of the engineering works taking place over the early-May bank holiday between 4-6 May.

Fenchurch Street station will be closed due to track renewal work between Fenchurch Street and East Ham, with trains diverted to Liverpool Street.

There will be works to allow the Barking Riverside extension project to progress, this will affect services between Barking and Purfleet with c2c services being diverted to Liverpool Street.

On Greater Anglia, the overhead lines and structures are being replaced between Shenfield to Southend Victoria and Southminster, with buses replacing trains between Shenfield to Southend Victoria and Southminster.

Work will continue on the West Anglia capacity enhancement scheme between Stratford and Cheshunt. Greater Anglia West Anglia services will be diverted via Seven Sisters.

Passengers are advised to check their journey with their train operator or www.nationalrail.co.uk before travelling.

Rail replacement bus services will operate on some routes to allow passengers to complete their journeys while these works are taking place.

Travel details

Greater Anglia

From Good Friday until Easter Monday, buses will replace trains between:

  • Shenfield and Southend Victoria and between Wickford and Southminster.
  • Cromer and Sheringham as Sheringham station is closed for major improvement work until 5 May.On Easter Sunday, buses will replace trains between:
    • Colchester and Norwich all day.
    • Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds all day.
    • Colchester and Harwich Town all day.
    • Norwich and Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth

      From Easter Sunday to Easter Monday, buses will replace trains between Littleport and Kings Lynn.
      From Good Friday until Easter Monday.Additionally, buses will also replace trains between Ipswich and Felixstowe from 18.50 on Saturday and all-day Easter Sunday


From Good Friday until Easter Monday:

  • services will be diverted to and from London Liverpool Street station and buses replace trains between Barking and Aldgate East;
  • services between Barking and Fenchurch Street will start/terminate at London Liverpool Street and will call additionally at Stratford.
  • buses will replace trains between Barking and Grays via Rainham

C2C will also operate a shuttle service of two trains per hour between:

  • London Liverpool Street and Shoeburyness via Basildon
  • Grays and Southend Central
  • Grays and Upminster

On Easter Saturday:

  • Four trains per hour will run between London Liverpool Street and Shoeburyness via Basildon
  • Trains will not call at Barking until after 07:00.
  • As West Ham United are at home against Leicester City, additional services will run before and after the match formed of 8 or 12 carriages.

Additional information can be found by visiting www.c2c-online.co.uk

London Overground

Please visit www.tfl.gov.uk to plan your journey

What did the officials say?

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Angliasaid:

“The work taking place across the Anglia route is absolutely vital to provide passengers with a much more reliable service.

We know there is never a good time to close the railway but doing the work over the bank holiday means we can achieve so much more and deliver the punctuality and reliability benefits to passengers at a time when fewer people want to travel.

“We are working closely with c2c, Greater Anglia and TfL to help passengers complete their journeys, and we would like to thank you for your patience while these vital works take place.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said:

“We’re sorry when customers are inconvenienced by engineering works, as we know passengers would rather travel by train all the way.

“A large part of the network is engineering-free this Easter and as ever we’d advise people to check before they travel.”

Julian Drury, c2c Managing Director said:

“We’ll be working with Network Rail to do our best to keep customers moving this Easter during these essential upgrades.

“We’ll be diverting our services from Southend and Basildon to Liverpool Street and Stratford, while for other areas of our route we’ll be providing shuttle trains and buses to help you with your journey.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • What about Network Rail to replace the overhead wires between Fenchurch Street and Bromley-by-Bow. As they are doing overhead wiring upgrades between Barking and Dagenham Dock because of the London Overground Barking Riverside extension.

    • I’ve seen some upgrade works on the Southend Victoria line with new overhead wires to be installed. Still Network Rail are taking their time on replacing the overhead wires aswell replacing overhead wires on the Great Eastern Main Line which they should start doing replacing overhead wires at Stratford.

  • The OHL upgrade on the Southend branch has been going on for several years, with endless bus replacement during the week (late/early trains) and most week-ends, yet with little signs of progress until recently with completion between some stations (and just done Billericay). The standing joke with regular travellers is that the whole job is being undertaken by 2 men and a ladder! With these more extensive closures it would be good to hope that the job can finally be finished; what passengers arriving at Southend airport must think when confronted with a cramped double-decker bus calling all stations to Shenfield can only be imagined, particularly over bank holidays. Tempus fugit.