No Weekend Trains For Two Months

Network Rail has announced there will be no weekend train services from Norwich or Ipswich to London for almost two months from the end of January.

£15million of improvement works to provide a better, more reliable railway will take place over eight weekends from Saturday January 31 to the middle of March affecting services at Colchester, Witham, Chelmsford and Marks Tey.

Abellio Greater Anglia will run a planned bus service for passengers to keep people moving on the affected sections of the line as the vital upgrades takes place.

Network Rail route managing director, Richard Schofield, said: "This investment is absolutely vital to help us deliver a better service for passengers. We know that people want to travel by train and not a bus, but the line from London Liverpool Street to Norwich carries a huge amount of traffic and desperately needs this boost.

"The project will deliver a more consistent and reliable service for passengers who travel on this line. We would like to thank passengers in advance for bearing with us over these weekends as it will mean some changes to their travel plans."

Jamie Burles, Managing Director, Abellio Greater Anglia said: "Although there is never a good time for such engineering works, this investment by Network Rail will help in our joint objective to deliver more consistent train service performance on our mainline. We will be doing all we can to minimise inconvenience to passengers during the course of these works. In addition to Network Rail's investment in the infrastructure, we are also investing over £30m in the current short franchise to improve customer service, train cleaning and rolling stock, including £9m in the project now underway to upgrade our intercity Mark III carriages."

Work will be carried out at the following locations:

  • Colchester: Engineers are returning to Colchester for the second part of this project, which will see more than two kilometres of track installed on this stretch of the route. The current track is more than 30 years old at both Colchester and Witham
  • Witham: Network Rail is installing new track and points at Witham. Points allow trains to move from one part of the track to another.
  • Chelmsford: Engineers continue to upgrade the overhead lines to improve reliability along the Great Eastern Main Line.
  • Marks Tey: Network Rail is installing new points at Marks Tey, which allows trains to travel from the main line to Sudbury.


In 2015, there are currently no plans for any major disruptive engineering work on the main line out of Liverpool Street to Norwich beyond May to the end of the year that would require a bus replacement service during weekends on both days.

On January 3, Network Rail started to upgrade the track between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. It is currently renewing the track foundations between Norwich and Stowmarket as part of an overall investment of £170m on this line in 2015.