Nine weekends of disruption ahead for Norwich to London by rail
- Credit: Archant
Rail journey times between Norwich and London are due to increase to more than two-and-a-half hours and involve several changes over the coming months as engineering works take their toll.
Network Rail has announced the mainline between Norwich and London will be closed most weekends until after Easter while track is replaced at Maryland Station, next to Stratford in east London.
The first closure will take place this weekend with works carrying on until mid-April, with the exception of four weekends at the start of February and during the Easter Holidays.
During the closures a bus replacement service will operate between Ingatestone and Newbury Park.
The disruption will add a significant amount of time to journeys between Norwich and London.
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In some instances journeys could take as long as three hours and 48 minutes, involve bus services or multiple changes and even take passengers via Stansted Airport if travelling from London to Norwich.
Passengers travelling on Sundays will be hard pushed to find journeys times shorter than two hours and 40 minutes.
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Options offered to travellers booking tickets via the website National Rail Enquiries, which is part of the Rail Delivery Group, include travelling via King's Cross, Ely or Cambridge as well as bus replacement services.
Commenting on the disruption, Guy Dangerfield, a spokesperson for Transport Focus, an independent transport watchdog, said: "Passengers wanting to travel to and from London over the coming weekends will face inconvenience.
"The crucial thing is that there are plenty of staff around to help and that the information is clear about what the passengers should do.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail's route director for Anglia, said: "This work will help us to maintain a safer and more reliable railway for passengers by reducing the number of train services affected by delays and cancellations."
A rail replacement service will run between Ingatestone and Newbury Park for the Central line on the following weekends:
- 25 - 26 January
- 15 - 16 February
- 22 - 23 February
- 29 February - 1 March
- 7 - 8 March
- 14 - 15 March
- 21 - 22 March
- 28 - 29 March
- 18 - 19 April.