RAIL passengers will face disruption when major engineering works take place.

Network Rail has announced it will be carrying out a series of improvements on lines between south Essex and London across two weekends in May.

Bosses say the upgrades will help to improve reliability.

The works taking place between Saturday 1 and Monday, May 3 – which is the bank holiday weekend, are:

  • Track renewals on the Southend Victoria line at Billericay and on the Great Eastern main line at Stratford to reduce delays caused by track issues.
  • Footbridge strengthening work at Brentwood, Chadwell Heath and Seven Kings to keep the railway operating safely.
  • Work to upgrade the overhead wiring system on the London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness line to reduce delays caused by wires sagging in hot temperatures.
  • Further works to platforms 16 and 17 at Liverpool Street, in preparation for the full-length Elizabeth line trains which are planned to be introduced later this year.

Works will also take place on the following weekend between Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May:

  • Work to renew the track at Ingatestone on the main line between Norwich and London and at Wickford on the Southend Victoria branch line to keep services running safely and reliably.
  • Follow up track works at Gidea Park, Romford and Stratford.

Network Rail is urging people to follow the Government guidance to minimise travel where possible.

It is asking passengers to plan their journeys in advance and travel at quieter times where possible, particularly over the bank holiday weekend.

Route director Ellie Burrows said: “We’ve carried out a programme of works over the Easter period to maintain safety and improve reliability across the network and will continue with these vital upgrades over the May bank holiday to make improvements for our passengers.

Read more:

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these upgrades and ask that anyone travelling over these weekends to check how their journey might be affected.”

Greater Anglia’s managing director Jamie Burles added: “These projects will help to improve punctuality and performance along these vital parts of our network.

“We will be running a rail replacement bus service while the work takes place, so customers will be able to complete their journeys.

“Passengers should check before they travel, allow more time for their journey and wear a face covering when travelling by train or rail replacement bus and at our stations.

“Greater Anglia has several measures in place to keep customers safe, from regular cleaning and sanitisation of trains and stations, to making it easier for customers to socially distance.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place.”