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NR moves forward on £46m Southend Victoria Line wire replacement scheme

Significant steps forward have been taken to install new overhead wires on the Southend Victoria branch line this weekend as part of a £46m programme of works.

Network Rail has installed over 1km of new wire between Shenfield and Billericay, which will mean fewer delays and improved reliability for passengers.

However, engineers still have a long way to go as the whole project will see 128km of wire installed on the line, with reliability being improved with every new piece of wire that is added.

Currently, the line uses some of the oldest wires and structures in the country, dating back to their installation in the 1950s. This causes problems in hot weather, as wires sag – meaning speed restrictions have to be imposed to protect them from damage.

Network Rail southend line

But the new wires use a system of weights to keep them taut, allowing trains to travel at their normal speed without being delayed.

The programme has been ongoing in evenings and overnight since May this year, allowing workers to put 100 structures in place ready to take the new wire a year earlier than would have been possible without extra midweek access.

“We recognise the issues our Southend passengers face in summer when services are delayed because of sagging overhead wires,” said Meliha Duymaz, NR’s route managing director for Anglia.

“We’re installing a new overhead wiring system to improve the reliability of train services as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and we’ve fast-tracked the work so passengers can start seeing the benefits as soon as possible.”

IMG 1831

And Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, added: “With these new overhead wires, combined with our brand new trains coming, together we are transforming the Southend line.

“We know people would rather stay on the train until their destination, but during engineering works, we will always make sure that customers can complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus.”

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Andrew Gwilt   28/09/2017 at 22:06

About time. It’s about time that the old ageing overhead wires that were first erected in the 1950’s are to be taken down because they sag too many times and have caused so many problems. As the new overhead wires will withstand heatwaves and cold weather conditions as they are designed to taut during hot weather “Summer”. And are also designed to last longer aswell. The old overhead wires were first energised with 1500v DC before converting to 25,000 AC (25kv). Glad that Network Rail are finally doing some upgrade works on the Southend Victoria line. I think it should be completed by the end of this year or possibly early next year. Ready for new trains to be delivered from 2019-onwards. But glad that Network Rail are replacing the overhead wires on the Southend Victoria line.

Andrew JG   28/09/2017 at 22:53

New AC 25kv overhead wires means less disruptions than older overhead wires that has caused so many problems in the past including sagging in hot weather. Plus I live near to Rayleigh railway station so I will see the new overhead wires already installed whilst Im on the train to London and Southend Victoria. Keep it up Network Rail.

Chrism   29/09/2017 at 04:03

Some interesting pictures of the OHLE supports - looks like a cross-brace has been added to what were two single posts on either side of the formation. Let's hope this goes better than the GWML!

Essex Commuter   29/09/2017 at 09:56

Finally. Network Rail. Hats off to you as you are replacing the overhead wires on the Southend Victoria line which really needs new overhead wires to end the disruptions to services between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria. Can’t wait to see new overhead wires installed on the line. Plus I live near to Rayleigh station and it will make a lot of difference with the new overhead wires installed and the old wires completely gone. Keep it going Network Rail.

Andrew JG   29/09/2017 at 10:00

I agree with you Chrism.

AJG89   29/09/2017 at 18:22

What about replacing the overhead wires between West Ham/Bromley-by-Bow and Fenchurch Street and between Ardwick-Gosslop & Hatfield (that was part of the Woodhead Line before closure) in the Greater Manchester area that the overhead wires were also installed in the 1950’s and are due to be replaced with new overhead wires. Also Network Rail are carrying out replacing the overhead wires between Seven Sisters-Stratford including Ilford Flyover and Manor Park, Forest Gate and Maryland stations which is also part of the Elizabeth Line. Once the Elizabeth Line opens in late 2019.

Allhailthegwilt   29/09/2017 at 22:33

Another article with numerous articles under various names assumed by Andrew Gwilt, none of which actually contribute damn all!

Andrew Gwilt   29/09/2017 at 22:36

@Allhailthegwilt. A person using my surname to make fun out of me. Wow you really are a troll against me aren’t you.

Andrew Gwilt   29/09/2017 at 22:42

@RTM. Do you accept bullying on any article you post. I don’t. Talk about trolls getting all the credit more than I get the crap from them.

Anonymous User   30/09/2017 at 14:32

Is Network Rail also going to replace the overhead wires on the former Woodhead Line (Ardwick Junction-Hatfield & Gosslop) where the current overhead wires are also starting to age as the line used to continue to Sheffield Victoria, Wath and Penistone.

Boris   01/10/2017 at 07:18


Andrew Gwilt   01/10/2017 at 17:43

Suppose its funny I guess Boris.

Boris   02/10/2017 at 00:47

Was I replying to you Andrew?

Sonning Cutting   02/10/2017 at 13:49

I had a business colleague once who thought his opinion valid repeating what everybody else said. He was soon fired for being a complete idiot. Can anyone see any similarities here?

A Commuter   03/10/2017 at 03:22

As a commuter who travels on Greater Anglia to London and lives near to a railway station which is on the Southend Victoria line. I think it’s about time that Network Rail started replacing the overhead wires. About time that overhead wires needs to be replaced. Plus with all arguing on here is becoming more boring. I think you guys should shut up for once. Any comment that is basically garbage is completely boring. Just end the bickering for once please.

Andrew Gwilt   03/10/2017 at 03:25

@Boris. Ok. Maybe you were talking to someone else. I apologise.

Allhailthegwilt   03/10/2017 at 14:49

Absolutely agree 'A Commuter' 'Any comment that is basically garbage is completely boring' Amen to that. That's why everyone on here is fed up with the permanent drivel from Andrew Gwilt / Andrew JG / AJG89 / Essex Commuter / A Commuter (why does he need at least FIVE aliases on here, other than to post even more utter tripe and have an online conversation with himself) I would love to know what Andrew does for a living, because it's clearly nothing to do with the railway industry.

Very Beige   03/10/2017 at 22:00

Looking forward to the improved services this will provide on my local line, what will make it better is when the new trains come in and we can have the promised 4TPH service as set out in the latest franchise agreement (no date though) As for Mr Gwilt he has no connection to the railway industry apart from being an "Enthusiast" who i have had the pleasure of crossing words with on many a time for his inane wittering and cut and pasting of articles and wikipedia, both on here and other industry related sites and Facebook, to where he subjected me to some lovely torrents of abuse after he threw his toys out of his pram when he was pulled up for incorrect information. I was also told in no uncertain terms i was attacking him because he is Autistic, well shockingly he didnt like it when i told him no such thing as i am also Autistic, its not an excuse for being rude, ignorant or a get out of jail free card.

Andrew Gwilt   03/10/2017 at 22:22

Just leave me ok for once ok @Allhailthegwilt. A unknown person who has used my surname just to get the attention to bully me. Well if you don’t like my dribble. Then up yours then.

Andrew JG   03/10/2017 at 22:27

Make remarks, abuse whatever at me. Because this is just getting too old. And I’m glad that I’m ignoring all your bull crap. In fact I’d rather ignore all your stupid comments because there is no need to continue with this garbage anymore. I’ve done my bit so I’d rather just all your stupid debates & rubbish. Let’s just move on. Zzzzzzz.

Andrew Gwilt   03/10/2017 at 22:53

@Very Beige. Yes I am a train enthusiast but also in fairness it’s none of your business ok. So keep your nose out of my hobby ok.

Very Beige   04/10/2017 at 14:13

Its also my hobby as well, you make a mockery of it for many people, you wibble on with inane rubbish, as for ignoring everything said your not doing a very good job of it. Maybe if you opened your ears rather then your trap and listened to people rather then slagging them off it would help and people would respect you and your opinion. But you dont, you waffle on, throw your dummy out, slag people off on here and Facebook, send abusive messages and block people when you dont get your own way. Respect is earned and not a given PS: Love how you have used both your profiles on here to answer us, the Gwilt one and the JG one, pathetic

Andrew Gwilt   04/10/2017 at 17:59

I’m glad this is soon disappearing so that I don’t have to put up with all the bull crap and the attention seekers throwing in boring crap at me just because I dribble a lot no matter what I comment. But I guess this will continue until it ends. Well I lost and you guys won so let’s just move on for once. This is getting old. Or I would say-I don’t care about what you people say to me because this is soon going to disappear and I done my own bit to win back the commentary battle. And yes I’ve stopped commenting on this article.

Jim   04/10/2017 at 19:13

What is soon going to disappear Andrew? And what is this commentary battle of which you speak? Will there be tickets available to this showdown of commenting skills? I do hope so as this is very amusing. And tiresome.

Andrew Gwilt   05/10/2017 at 00:40


Rich   05/10/2017 at 21:09

*Says he's stopped commenting on this article* *Keeps commenting on article*

A Regular Enthusiastic Person   05/10/2017 at 22:01

@Andrew Gwilt or any of your stupid name that you put down. Give up commenting if you can’t handle the constant bullcrap that you keep on bragging on about. Ok. Just don’t comment on here anymore. And yes to anyone. We all have own opinions and debates no matter what we say. That’s why anyone has their own opinions to put down on the comment box. And as far this goes it is likely to continue for god knows how long this will last. Just putting down my own statement. Plus it’s good that Network Rail are carrying on with their workers working on the railways such as electrification, signalling, rail projects, safety and even maintaining and looking after our railway lines in the UK. Keep up the good work Network Rail. That’s all I gotta say. Thanks.

Allhailthegwilt   06/10/2017 at 14:35

Oooh - a new identity from Andrew, above. Does that make six now? How exciting!

Andrew Gwilt   07/10/2017 at 00:35

@Allhailthegwilt. Give it a rest will you troll using my last name. @RTM. Suppose you dont care about this continuous arguments continuing until the new year.

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