Hot off of being announced as the worst rail line in the UK for cancellations, the Elizabeth Line’s reputation is taking another hit. Portions of the newly-opened (it still feels quite new, at least) rail line will close every weekend through February. It’s not all bad news, however, with much of the closure being localised to one section of the tracks.
When will the Elizabeth Line close?
Now, the whole thing isn’t closing. But significant portions will close every weekend throughout February. That means you can expect disruption across the following days:
- February 3 & 4
- February 10 & 11
- February 17 & 18
- February 24 & 25
There will also be some reduced service ahead of these partial closures. This coming Sunday (January 28) will see reduced service between Stratford and Gidea Park.
The worst of the February closures will take place on February 10-11 (Saturday and Sunday), when there will be no service between Liverpool Street National Rail station/Whitechapel and Shenfield.
In addition to this disruption, every other weekend in February will see no service between Stratford and Shenfield. Replacement buses will ferry passengers along the route instead.
That’s not quite everything, though, with further disruption expected on Sunday, February 18. From 7:40am onwards, there will be a reduced service between Paddington and Maidenhead, and trains will start and terminate at Paddington National Rail station.
The closures will also affect Greater Anglia services across the four weekends in February. This could impact journeys servicing locations such as Colchester, Ipswich, or Norwich.
Why is it closing?
The closures are due to “[essential] weekend engineering work on the Great Eastern Main Line” by Network Rail Anglia. The works include general track maintenance, cleaning, removal of litter and graffiti, de-vegetation, and other essential works. A lot of it may sound inconsequential, but it all plays an important role in keeping the tracks clear and the trains running.
Said Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director:
This work is extremely important to help maintain the safe and reliable running of the railway and make it fit for the future.
A rail replacement service will run while the work takes place and passengers are advised to check before they travel and allow more time for their journey.
We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while it is carried out.
Travellers are advised to check their journeys ahead of time and allow extra time for travel.
See more details of planned line closures and service reductions at TfL’s Planned Works Calendar.