Network Rail is warning that the c2c railway between Barking and Fenchurch Street will be closed for six weekends in June and July due to maintenance work on the rail infrastructure.

However, a special diversion will occur on one day during the closure, which will excite the train nerds.

c2c train at Fenchurch Street station (c) c2c

The diversions and closures will take place every weekend in June and the first weekend of July.

During the closures, services on the Basildon and Rainham lines will be diverted to Liverpool Street and stop at Stratford but will not call at Limehouse or West Ham stations.

On the Ockendon line, trains will operate as a rail shuttle between Upminster and Grays via Ockendon and Chafford Hundred only. Passengers heading towards London or Southend will need to switch trains at Upminster or Grays.

Now for the train nerds

On Saturday 15th June only, trains won’t divert into Liverpool Street but will run to Fenchurch Street as usual. However, they will still divert via Stratford, and to get between Stratford and Fenchurch Street, trains will have to travel over the rarely used Bow Curve railway track.

The Bow Curve is a railway that links the Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street mainlines. It opened in 1849 but closed a century later, in 1949, and was single-tracked in 1986 to make space for the DLR at Pudding Mill Lane.

Today, the line is kept active with stock movements and occasional diversions.

The disused railway highlighted on Google map

You can, if you’re really determined, catch the occasional passenger train over that line very early in the morning or late at night, but very rarely during daytime hours.

So, Saturday 15th June is your chance to ride a passenger train along the Bow Curve between Stratford and Limehouse stations during sensible hours. You may also see the empty space where the former Bow and Bromley station used to stand before it was replaced by Bow Road station in 1949.

The trains will run every half hour in both directions all day.

c2c diversion over the Bow Curve on 15th June 2024

During the closure, Network Rail engineers will install new rails at Fenchurch Street station and remove worn-out rails. They’ll also maintain the conductor rails (which provide power to trains) adjacent to TfL infrastructure around West Ham station to maintain a stable power supply for trains and general track maintenance.

Bridges, culverts, and structures at multiple locations between Fenchurch Street, East Ham, and Barking will also be inspected to check their condition, as will the sewers around West Ham to identify potential drainage issues.

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “A well-maintained railway enables efficiency and safety. Although closing a busy line is never ideal, every improvement, inspection, survey, and maintenance task underscores our dedication to passenger safety and enhances service reliability for both passengers and freight operators. We appreciate the patience of all our customers during these necessary tasks.”


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  1. Joe bow says:

    As far as I know , No working trains are scheduled to use the Bow Curve only Empty stock movements and Occasionally diverted trains so will be good to see , and Conductor rails on the c2c doesn’t it use OHLE ?

    • Sunil says:

      There is overhead electric on the Bow Curve, I did it in both directions April 2022.

    • nick lewis says:

      It does but the route runs parallel with LUL from Bow Area and presumably this closure also allows LUL to undertake works that can only be done safely with C2C closed.

  2. Mandy says:

    How. Do. People. Get. To work. If no. C2c. People need to get Tain. To go to work. Y they have to go up car. It costs them meony. To go by. Car. And bus.

    • ianVisits says:

      The trains are running, but with diversions.

    • Keith barber says:


      There’s always ALWAYS one

      Maintenance work needs to be done and it gets criticised

      And yet if it isn’t done, again criticisms are made

      Dammed if they do, Dammed if they don’t – can’t ever win…. 😤 🤷 😒 🙄

  3. Adrian H says:

    Some years ago, a train I was on from Fenchurch Street was diverted on the fly onto the Bow Curve after an announcement at Limehouse from the driver that West Ham Station was suddenly closed.
    Full marks for the controller (pre-Trenitalia) to take the initiative.

    • Peter Armand says:

      When the LT&SR railway was formed the original route ran via the Bow Curve Stratford Foresf Gate then Barking. The line was very busy with additional services not going to Tilbury. The LNER insisted the LT&SR pay for an additional third line from Bow Junction to Stratford for trains in the Down direction. This was taken over by the D.L.R for thir service to Stratford.

  4. DIane Kivi says:

    I’ve travelled the Bow curve, during Engineering works.

    It’s an interesting experience, especially if you pass a Docklands Tram @

  5. Mike says:

    A shame that National Rail haven’t uploaded the timetable into their Journey Planner yet – it’s less than three weeks away.


    Is that what we used to call Bow Junction to Gas Factory Jcn?

  7. Dave smith says:

    In the late 60’s a major fire took place at the Bishopsgate Market goods station. No trains ran to or from Liverpool Street with most services operating from Stratford. Some trains during the rush hour operated to and from Fenchurch St using the Bow Curve. My trains to and from Wickford were one of those so I was very fortunate to ride on the Curve for several days until the collapsed buildings above and the tunnel section to Liverpool Street was deemed safe.

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