Southend to Wickford upgrade completed successfully

Engineering works in Southend
Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail has announced that passengers will be able to travel on the Southend line as the work to upgrade the overhead lines has been completed on time.

Train services have resumed following nine days of major engineering work between Southend Victoria and Wickford.

The work saw engineers replace 27.8 km of overhead wire, install eight structures, remove 33 redundant structures and to bring into service two electrified train crossovers.

To allow this work to take place safely, no trains could run on this portion of the line, with train services replaced by buses.

Network Rail is replacing 128km of overhead wires between Southend Victoria and Shenfield with a new auto tension system that adapts to temperature changes.

The work that was completed over the nine day period will help Network Rail to complete the project two months earlier in March 2020 instead of May 2020, with 11 fewer weeks of mid-week closures and six fewer weekend closures.

What did the officials say?

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

“We know that this work has caused some disruption and we would like to thank all those affected for their patience.

“Network Rail and Greater Anglia have worked together to keep passengers moving and get this vital upgrade completed, which will improve journeys for anyone using the Southend line.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said:

“We’d like to say a big thank you to our customers for their patience and understanding during the intensive bout of nine days’ work took place.

“We appreciate that they heeded our advice and planned their journeys and work around the revised rail and bus replacement services which we put in place during the works.”

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  1. Brilliant work from Network Rail. But there is more to be done to complete the OHL renewals on the Southend Victoria. So far there is new overhead wires installed at some parts of the line including at stations on the Southend Victoria line. With more weekend engineering works including on bank holiday and Christmas period. With the completion set for March 2020 instead of May 2020.

  2. I wish NR would be a little more honest; I travelled from Rayleigh to Liverpool St. last Friday and no sign of progress at Wickford other than a lot of gantries still to be erected before complex rewiring could start; also, a recent trip from Prittlewell showed no sign of progress through to Hockley. Please tell us when upgrading really is completed, NR, then we can show our appreciation for what must be the longest upgrade in recent electrification history!

  3. Len Muir isn’t wrong I totally agree what he said.

    I’ve also seen some progress being made with some of the new OHL infrastructure installed and erected and there’s more to be done with replacing overhead wires on the Southend Victoria Line. Since Network Rail closed the line for 9 days. And they have only done bits of the new overhead wires installation on the Southend Victoria line.

    Network Rail really needs to get in gear to finish off replacing overhead wires before the March 2020 deadline even though it’s still a long way off but they really need to push on.


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