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Fewer delays and cancellations promised on mainline services following overhead line works

PUBLISHED: 15:17 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:06 08 May 2018

Overhead wire installation on the Southend Victoria line which took place at the same time as work at Ilford. Picture: Network Rail

Overhead wire installation on the Southend Victoria line which took place at the same time as work at Ilford. Picture: Network Rail

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Train passengers in Norfolk and Suffolk have been promised fewer delays and cancellations on mainline services following upgrades.

Overhead wire installation on the Southend Victoria line which took place at the same time as work at Ilford. Picture: Network RailOverhead wire installation on the Southend Victoria line which took place at the same time as work at Ilford. Picture: Network Rail

Network Rail installed overhead wiring at Ilford, east London, over the Bank Holiday as part of a £249m programme to upgrade the system.

The works will also improve reliability and support the growing number of passengers using the line.

The wiring system currently in place between Norwich and London Liverpool Street is some of the oldest in the country, having been installed in the 1950s.

These old wires sag in hot weather as temperatures on the tracks can be up to 20 degrees hotter than air temperatures.

The new system adapts automatically to heat during the summer, meaning fewer delays and cancellations.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “Together with Network Rail we’re transforming the railway in East Anglia.

“With their upgrade plan and our brand new trains, we’re modernising the railway for future generations.

“I appreciate these works are inconvenient for customers, but we make sure they can complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus.”

A total of 320km of wire is being replaced between Chelmsford and London Liverpool. The works will also allow Greater Anglia to run their new fleet of trains, which will run across Norfolk, Suffolk,and north Essex, from 2019 onwards.

The trains will be fitted with more seats, air conditioning systems, wifi, plug and USB sockets and large picture windows.

Over the second bank holiday, from Saturday, May 26 until Monday, May 28, more work will take place on the Great Eastern Mainline at Ilford where engineers will replace a further 3km of overhead wire.

Overall the works will mean more trains can run on the line and there will be fewer delays for passengers up to Norwich.

Rail replacement services will run throughout and passengers are advised to check before they travel.

More information about engineering works and replacement services can be found at www.networkrail.co.uk or www.greatanglia.co.uk

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