Weather partially closes Essex railway.

Track damage at Billericay, Essex. Ballast has been washed away from the sleepers by heavy rain.

Billericay in Essex became the latest victim of the recent storms as the railway was closed after a landslip.

Closeup of the damage at Billericay.

A train driver reported track damage between Billericay and Wickford on the Southend Victoria line, which led inspectors to find that a section of track ballast had been washed away, leaving the track partially unsupported.

The Southend-bound line at this location has therefore been closed as a safety measure. Although trains are able to run in both directions on the adjacent line, the result is a reduction in the number of trains Greater Anglia can run.

Disruption will continue this week and the line will anyway be closed at the weekend for upgrades to the overhead line.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail route director for Anglia, said: “Our first priority is the safety of passengers and staff working on the trains. We have our engineering teams on site and are assessing what damage has been done by this landslip and trying to identify how it occurred.

“We have already mobilised our supply chain to get the 500 tonnes of stone we need and will be focused on getting the embankment and tracks restored as quickly as we can.   We can run trains in both directions on this line, so, while I’m sorry there will be some disruption for passengers, we will be working with Greater Anglia to run as many trains as we can.”

James Burles, Greater Anglia.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said: “We are working closely with Network Rail to restore the normal service as soon as is possible.  In the meantime, fewer trains are able to run. We are therefore currently operating a reduced service, which is supplemented by buses between Wickford and Shenfield.”

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