Major 10-day rail disruption scheduled for Norwich trains over Christmas and New Year

Greater Anglia trains will face disruption over Christmas and New Year (Picture: Sonya Duncan)

Greater Anglia trains will face disruption over Christmas and New Year (Picture: Sonya Duncan) - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Network Rail have confirmed that there will be major disruption over the Christmas and New Year period for passengers travelling from Norwich train station.

The Norwich to London Liverpool Street route requires an important upgrade to install new overhead wires on the line, which will take place during a 10-day closure over Christmas.

The work is part of a £250 million project to upgrade the wiring system on the busy mainline. Just over 10km of overhead wire will be replaced during the closures.

Network Rail have said that the wires currently in place were installed in the 1950s and the system is one of the oldest in the country.

When the weather gets hot the wires sag and speed restrictions have to be imposed to protect them from damage by trains. The new wires are controlled by a system of weights, to keep them taut at all times, so trains can pass at their normal speed.

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Work will also be taking place at areas around London to improve the London Crossrail programme.

Despite the promise that this will be only a 'short-term disruption', the 10-day closures will undoubtedly cause major havoc for anyone travelling over the Christmas and New Year period.

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Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia's managing director, said: 'We will make sure that customers can complete their journeys during all periods of engineering works, even it part of it is by bus.'

'These works are crucial if we are to get the modern railway we need in East Anglia,' he added.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said: 'Our investment programme in our vital railways infrastructure on the this very busy route continues as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. While there will be short-term disruption, the benefits for passengers are real and will last for decades if modern, more reliable infrastructure is installed and preparations made for the introduction of new services and new trains.'

More staff have been scheduled to work to help manage the disruption.

The works begin on Saturday 23 December and will continue until Monday 1 January 2018.

During this time there will be no service between Shenfield and London Liverpool Street and rail replacement buses will run.

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