Because Network Rail works along the Great Eastern Main Line, there won’t be any Elizabeth line services east of Stratford each weekend in February.

Elizabeth line train at Stratford station (c) ianVisits

The engineering works will also affect Greater Anglia services between Shenfield and Liverpool Street stations.

Network Rail says that the closures are needed as it will be working to maintain infrastructure between Stratford, Shenfield, Billericay and Southend Victoria as well as weekend work at the site of the new Beaulieu Park station.

These works are set to take place over the following weekends, which will affect Greater Anglia and Elizabeth line services:

  • Saturday 3 February and Sunday 4 February
  • Saturday 10 February and Sunday 11 February
  • Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February
  • Saturday 24 February and Sunday 25 February

In addition, on Sunday 18th February, there won’t be an Elizabeth line service between Paddington and Abbey Wood.

For the train nerds, this does mean that Elizabeth line trains will be reversing at Stratford station and using the crossover at the west of the station to swap between tracks, which is a fairly unusual movement.

Some of the maintenance tasks being carried out include:

  • Track maintenance, including switches and crossings
  • Overhead line work between Ilford and Goodmayes
  • Maintenance of a signal gantry between Bethnal Green and Stratford Bridge
  • Inspection of culverts and structures between Forest Gate and Shenfield
  • Replacement of footbridge steps at Ilford station
  • De-vegetation to manage leaf fall and reduce risk of damage from falling trees and branches.
  • Removal of litter and graffiti

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “These works play an essential role to maintain the reliability and safety of our railway. Each improvement, inspection, survey, and maintenance task emphasise our commitment to passenger safety, and keeping our infrastructure in good condition on a heavily used part of the network into central London is very important. I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience while we carry out these essential tasks.”


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  1. SE23 says:

    Could get all that done within a single week over August when both weekday and weekend demand is well down and our weather far better. Ridiculous to inflict such commuter pain during what is a difficult month for many.

    • Wayne says:

      Commuter pain on weekends? Or did I miss something?

    • ChrisC says:

      I’m sure a Network Rail would welcome your planning experience for engineering works!

      But the simple fact is works can’t all happen in August because of the sheer volume of work that needs doing across the entire network.

      Plus there aren’t unlimited numbers of workers and kit available

      And some of these works may not be able to wait until August for them to be done.

  2. Dan says:

    Fun fact. Greater Anglia aren’t running a full service on the Great Eastern Mainline at weekends seemingly INDEFINITELY. The next available weekend you’ll be able to get a direct train from London to Norwich is currently Saturday 20th April.

    It’s been like this for years. First it was Crossrail, now it’s Beaulieu Park and track renewals. If you live in Essex, Suffolk or Norfolk and need to travel at weekends, continue your misery.

    Surely at this point a blockade would be far more cost effective? Just a thought out into the ether.

  3. Fry says:

    Just wondering who I claim compensation from as I have non refundable ticket which I now won’t be able to use now. Or will they pay for my taxi to get into London.

    Why don’t they do the works when all the drives go on strike.

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      Tickets are refundable on Greater Anglia. If the train is cancelled you don’t have to pay the £10 fee.

      Under “delay repay” a non running train – because of all day cancellation – attracts a full refund too.

      “120 minutes or longer 100% of the cost of your ticket whether single or return”

    • Julian Walker says:

      If you had bought a non-refundable (i.e. Advance) ticket, you would have been warned that part of the journey would be by replacement bus service.

  4. Julian Dyer says:

    Last weekend’s central-EL closure (hence terminating at Liverpool Street national rail) gave an even less common route – the C2C service through Statford to/from Barking was diverted across the Bow curve to Fenchurch Street in both directions. Presumably to free the platforms at Liverpool Street.

  5. Barbaba Vangylles says:

    Do you know if there are any statutory rules on the locations of bus stops for replacement bus services? They always use Stratford City as the stop for Maryland, which has always struck me as unfairly distant from the station.

    (A minor gripe, I know, for someone fully fit or happy to pay for the traditional busses, but there are others who would struggle.)

  6. John S says:

    Whatever happened to the 7 day a week railway that Andrew Haines wanted to see some years ago? I know that maintenance needs to be carried out, but it sometimes seems that the needs of passengers are increasingly taking second place to the requirements of Network Rail – their seemingly ever increasing requirement for full possessions for routine maintenance were never as onerous as this in past.

  7. Ian Symonds says:

    I think that there are staff that work for greater anglia that have never seen trains run at the weekend.
    I appreciate that engineering. Work needs to happen, but this is moist never ending …
    I just feel Sorry for the essential workers that are using yet more rail replacement services because they have to go to work…

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