Weekend rail misery for commuters as Redbridge train line closes
PUBLISHED: 17:10 26 October 2011
Weekend rail travellers are facing severe delays and long bus journeys as engineers complete a £200million upgrade to ageing overhead wires.
National Express East Anglia (NXEA) trains between Romford and Liverpool Street have been suspended at weekends for the last three weeks.
After a brief respite this weekend, the section of line will be closed again, leaving commuters forced to take the 86 bus to and from Stratford from 8pm on Saturday until Monday morning for the whole of November.
Network Rail, which maintains the line, said the closures were vital to replace the post-Second World War power cables.
Caz Rudd travels from Chadwell Heath to Waterloo two Saturdays a month to attend a science fiction group with her husband and son, and says their journey across London can be stretched by over an hour.
Mrs Rudd said: “It can be really frustrating. There have been several occasions where the amount of travel needed was just not worth it and we stayed at home.”
The newly-opened Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford is also expected to be affected by the closure, with customers opting to take a short bus ride to Ilford instead.
Trains on the affected part of the line stop at Chadwell Heath, Goodmayes, Seven Kings and Ilford stations.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “These overhead lines were installed in the 1940s and 1950s and need replacing to improve reliability and handle the increased number of trains.
“We are sorry for any disruption this may cause but this work is absolutely essential to make sure we have a railway that is fit for the 21st century.”
The news comes after furious commuters were stranded on trains and platforms last week when damage to cables at Bethnal Green brought the line to a virtual standstill.
To find out how the works will affect you telephone National Rail enquiries on 08457 484 950.
How are you hit by the line closure? Contact the newsdesk on 020 8477 3821.
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