PASSENGERS are facing months of weekend disruption after rail bosses announced plans to upgrade the main line into London.

Network Rail will be working at Maryland on the line between Colchester and London across nine weekends.

The works begin on Saturday and will run until April.

Passengers will have to use a rail replacement service between Ingatestone and Newbury Park while the work is carried out.

The following weekends will be affected:

  • January 25 and 26
  • February 15 – 16
  • February 22 – 23
  • February 29 to March 1
  • March 7 – 8
  • March 14 – 15
  • March 21 – 22
  • March 28 – 29
  • April 18 – 19

The work is to replace track and points at Maryland to improve punctuality and reliability, overhead wire power upgrades for new trains and work at Ilford to improve drainage.

Rail bosses have said the work needs to take place as the track must be replaced to keep services on the move and to improve reliability.

They say it should result in fewer delays.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “This is a busy section of the network which sees hundreds of trains every day that our passengers rely on.

“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.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We are sorry about the inconvenience these works cause to passengers.

“We will make sure that all customers can complete their journey, even if part of it is by bus.

“This work is essential so that, together with Network Rail, we can improve punctuality and reliability on our railway.”

For updates and details on journeys over the weekends in question visit