The 9 day closure between Southend Victoria and Wickford is coming

Engineering works in Southend
Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail is reminding passengers to plan their journeys in advance due to no trains running between Southend Victoria and Wickford for nine days.

The nine-day closure is part of a major upgrade of the overhead wires.

The railway line between Wickford and Southend Victoria will be closed from Saturday 25 May to Sunday 2 June (inclusive).

The route between Wickford and Southminster will remain open and will be served by trains.

Engineers will work 24 hours a day over nine days to replace 27.8 km of overhead wire, install eight structures, remove 33 redundant structures and bring into service two electrified train crossovers – which help trains to change between the tracks.

Passengers are being advised to change their 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 are available on the Greater Anglia website.

Greater Anglia passenger who has a monthly season ticket or longer can use c2c services for the entire nine days of the line closure, changing at London Fenchurch Street or London Limehouse for connections.

The closure of the line will mean the bulk of the work will finish two months earlier in March 2020 instead of May 2020, with 11 fewer weeks of mid-week closures and six fewer weekend closures.

The train service between Wickford and London Liverpool Street will see shorter trains running less frequently. This is because access to the Southend depot, where trains are parked overnight, will be suspended by the works, and no over location is available.

Passengers should be aware that c2c trains will be very busy, so seats may not be available. Passengers are also advised not to drive to c2c stations as car parking is very limited.

What did the officials say?

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

“We want to make sure passengers are informed about the upgrades taking place between Wickford and Southend Victoria next week, and are working with Greater Anglia to remind them.

“We recognise there is never an ideal time to shut the railway and appreciate the inconvenience of the works but closing the line for nine days will allow us to carry out much more work compared to a series of more limited mid-week or weekend closures.

“I’d encourage passengers to plan their journey in advance or make alternative arrangements.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said:

“We’ve worked closely with Network Rail to reduce the overall impact of works on customers to carry out this important upgrade.

“We’ve given customers as much notice as possible of the nine days of intensive works and tried to answer all of their questions about the blockade.

“We apologise for any inconvenience the works causes and thank customers for their continued patience.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m a regular commuter who uses Greater Anglia and I understand that the Southend Victoria Line does need modernisation with old 1950s OHL being replaced by the new state-of-the-art OHL which doesn’t sag and reduces delays.

    But with engineering works taking place at weekends with bus replacement is a nightmare. And it does take longer to get to London on replacement bus or the better option is to use c2c which gets so packed at weekends.

  2. More money needs to be spent on improving railway stations such as replacing footbridges and installing new ones with lifts to make it step-free accessible such as stations on the Southend Victoria line that does have step-free access. But it’s best to install new footbridges with lifts or ramps so that disabled passengers can access the platforms and to board the train much easier with staff on hand to get them where they want to go to.

    It’s good that Network Rail are to spend £46million on replacing ageing overhead wires that were first installed in the 1950s and the new ones are designed not to sag and are much easier to maintain. Aswell as Greater Anglia ordering new trains to replace the old ones which is to come later this year and next year.

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