Engineering works on GA services 22nd April 2012 - London Marathon day

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iphone76

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I have just checked the NRE website about getting from Wickford to London on 22nd April to enjoy the London Marathon.

It seems that due to works on the line, there are no trains between Liverpool Street and Billericay/Ingatestone.

Would someone be able to confirm if this is correct (GA website only goes up to the weekend before). If true, it seems mad to shut the whole line down on one of London's main sporting days. When I've travelled up the past few years, the 8 carriage trains have been standing room only from Wickford in the morning.

I appreciate that works have to be done, but surely someone must have twigged this is going to cause hassle for thousands of people. I wonder if the buses will cope and how many they will need? If true, I will stay at home and watch it on TV rather than fight to get on a bus from Billericay all the way to Newbury Park then catch the tube.

What a shame. :(
 
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TheJRB

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From National Rail Enquiries:

Start date: 22/04/12
End date: 22/04/12

Route affected: London Liverpool Street, Stratford, Romford, Shenfield, Billericay, Wickford & Southend Victoria and London Liverpool Street, Stratford, Shenfield, Ingatestone, Chelmsford, Witham & Braintree / Clacton-on-Sea / Harwich Town / Ipswich / Norwich

Train operator affected: Greater Anglia

No trains will run between London Liverpool Street and Billericay / Ingatestone.
Buses will run between Newbury Park (London Underground station) and:
  • Ingatestone
  • Shenfield / Billericay
  • Romford / Shenfield
Passengers are advised to travel on London Underground services to / from central London from Newbury Park (London Underground station).
Passengers for intermediate stations to / from Romford are advised to use the route 86 TfL bus.
 

iphone76

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Thank you for that confirmation. It's around the same sort of weekend every year, and the date is known a year in advance. Looks like it will be the TV for me then :(
 

bengley

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Thank you for that confirmation. It's around the same sort of weekend every year, and the date is known a year in advance. Looks like it will be the TV for me then :(
Or you could, you know, get a replacement bus to Newbury Park and get the central line in? It doesn't take that much longer.
 

iphone76

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Cheers. Looking at the planner, it would take an hour longer each way than normal to get into London (not accounting for traffic on the A12, etc), plus I don't like the thought of a full and standing 8 car train cramming onto old buses and coaches.
 

swt_passenger

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Is the London Marathon on on the same day/date every year?
Just looked up the 2012 Engineering Access statement, the online version anyway. It is dated 03 Feb 2012 but still shows the London Marathon as date to be confirmed.

That's a bit odd...
 

Pugwash

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I think you will find they don't care - The GEML has been a nightmare to travel on Sundays for as long as I can remember, I could use my season ticket to visit a museum / go shopping / visit friends in London over the weekend, they make it so much hassle is just isn't worth the bother.
 

tbtc

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find a weekend without some sort of major event in London. Go on. Try.
Exactly.

Just talking about other sporting events, as well as the Olympics (which will bring a few more people into London), the football season means over 100,000 people attending games in the capital on an average weekend (Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Fulham, QPR, Milwall, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Brentford etc).

I could understand the criticism if it were the DLR or South Eastern who were running replacement bus services on the Marathon weekend (as they serve the area that the race is normally located).

The problem with being a city that never sleeps is that you become a city when its never a convenient time to do engineering work.
 

iphone76

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Not sure if there was anything major this weekend to be honest - there certainly didn't seem to be on Sunday as I was walking around having caught the train upto London. (Prepares to be shot down in flames).

I do understand this has to to be done, but this must be one of the largest specator sporting events of the year in London so I was just surprised the main rail line into London from Essex and beyond would be closed.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Just looked up the 2012 Engineering Access statement, the online version anyway. It is dated 03 Feb 2012 but still shows the London Marathon as date to be confirmed.

That's a bit odd...
Especially as I applied for it in April and got rejected in September. Looks like I will not be there this year giving my support. :cry:
 

philjo

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I see that on Saturday 7 April (Easter weekend) FCC will have buses replacing trains between Royston & Stevenage All Day.

GA services from Cambridge to Liverpool Street are running but are diverted via Stratford. (I hope they will be running as 12 coaches)

It is the Oxford/Cambridge boat race that day so expect a lot of extra passengers travelling to London from Cambridge....
 

jopsuk

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Running as 12 carriage would severely limit where a West Anglia train could stop- at the moment, the peak time ones from Cambridge stop at Whittlesford, Audley End, Bishops Strotford and Tottenham Hale- I think Broxbourne and possibly Harlow are OK too? No idea if the West Anglia platforms at Stratford could take a 12-car.

You'd at least hope they'll run as 8-car though- most weekend services at the moment are 4-car 379s
 

GB

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I think you will find they don't care - The GEML has been a nightmare to travel on Sundays for as long as I can remember, I could use my season ticket to visit a museum / go shopping / visit friends in London over the weekend, they make it so much hassle is just isn't worth the bother.
I bet you would complain when things on the GEML fail even more than they do now:roll:

The fact of the matter is Sundays are one of the quietest days on the network so it is the best time to do the work so as to inconvenience as few as possible.
 

Pugwash

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I buy a ticket for the train to run all of the time, they have been fixing it for years, closures every Christmas, every Easter, every bank holiday, most Sundays, it is surely not beyond their intelligence to hire a diesel train or whatever is necessary to run a train service over the metro lines but I guess that would probably cost them a little more.
 

ushawk

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I buy a ticket for the train to run all of the time, they have been fixing it for years, closures every Christmas, every Easter, every bank holiday, most Sundays, it is surely not beyond their intelligence to hire a diesel train or whatever is necessary to run a train service over the metro lines but I guess that would probably cost them a little more.
So what if they are doing work on the track ? People moan they want a good reliable network, but moan about weekend closures which improve the lines.
 

jopsuk

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If the closure is on all four lines, that probably means people on the track on all four lines- with the OHL work I'd assume it makes more sense to replace all four at once- it is nlikely that they'll just be working on the metro or mainline with the adjacent pair merely switched off.
 

jonb

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The GEML is also shut for the next two weekends between Shenfield - Witham for the OHLE renewals. A bit of a pain as I am travelling to Ipswich Saturday, and like others won't endure the rail replacement alternative!
 

OliverS

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So what if they are doing work on the track ? People moan they want a good reliable network, but moan about weekend closures which improve the lines.
The problem is that seem always to be doing it. I remember a good few years ago when I was travelling from Essex to Sussex most weekends and it was always "interesting". Especially as with Thameslink being worked on at the same time I ended up having to go to different Southern terminals each week (or that is what it felt like).

I think the GEML case is aggravated by the lack of diversionary routes. Basically you can't get to London any other way. Are there any other places so close to London where this is the same?
 

jopsuk

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Are you sure about that? Plus the Cambridge-Ipswich route is so very slow, the rail replacement bus is probably the faster option.
 

D1009

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I have just checked the NRE website about getting from Wickford to London on 22nd April to enjoy the London Marathon.

It seems that due to works on the line, there are no trains between Liverpool Street and Billericay/Ingatestone.

Would someone be able to confirm if this is correct (GA website only goes up to the weekend before). If true, it seems mad to shut the whole line down on one of London's main sporting days. When I've travelled up the past few years, the 8 carriage trains have been standing room only from Wickford in the morning.

I appreciate that works have to be done, but surely someone must have twigged this is going to cause hassle for thousands of people. I wonder if the buses will cope and how many they will need? If true, I will stay at home and watch it on TV rather than fight to get on a bus from Billericay all the way to Newbury Park then catch the tube.

What a shame. :(
If I am affected by engineering work in the London area, I normally try to find a differnt route from what is "recommended" to avoid the crowds. e.g. from Wickford to London you could catch a train to Southend to go to Fenchurch Street or get a service bus to Basildon for the same service. I know it would probably cost more but it's usually more pleasant. Traveline South East is a useful site for that.
 

jopsuk

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True, but presumably under normal and engineering conditions it isn't a valid route for a through ticket?
 

iphone76

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If I am affected by engineering work in the London area, I normally try to find a differnt route from what is "recommended" to avoid the crowds. e.g. from Wickford to London you could catch a train to Southend to go to Fenchurch Street or get a service bus to Basildon for the same service. I know it would probably cost more but it's usually more pleasant. Traveline South East is a useful site for that.
Cheers D1009 - I will check it out. Normally when there are issues on the GA line, I drive over to Benfleet or up to Upminster as c2c, on most occasions, let us use our season tickets. The thing about the marathon day is that we usually watch the run, then get something to eat and have a few beers.

After that, I don't fancy having to travel into Southend and back out again. I know it is only an extra hour or so each way, but it makes for a long day.

Having looked at the website today, this seems to be the case for most of Easter weekend, every Sunday in April and the first weekend in May, so c2c will be seeing a bit of me ;)
 

OliverS

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Might be a long route, but you can go via Cambridge and Ipswich.
And I have looked at that in the past and discarded it as too long. Random Sunday in April (22nd). Manningtree to London ('cos that is the journey I do) - 1:56 with Rail Replacement 3:20 via Cambridge. Any further down the line towards London it gets worse but I can see that starting from Ipswich or Norwich it might be ok.

I don't count that as a diversionary route. However from Norwich it is and during the Ipswich tunnel closure they ran some intercity trains via Cambridge.
 

iphone76

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I have just received an email back from GA explaining why these extra works are needed. I guess it does make sense and hopefully once these are completed, the infrastructure will be more reliable.

"Wherever possible we ask Network Rail to postpone engineering works when there is a special event taking place. Unfortunately, on this occasion, Network Rail have identified that there are some 2000 defects of varying degrees affecting the overhead line equipment across the core of the Greater Anglia route. These have been risk assessed by Network Rail as needing repair as a matter of urgency.

Therefore Greater Anglia has agreed to additional engineering closures to repair of the defects to mitigate the risk of an incident which could cause serious disruption to our customers."

I was quite shocked that there would be 2,000 defects on the OHLE across the main GA route - I wonder how things got so bad, especially with all the works over the past 6 or 7 years?
 

Bald Rick

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I was quite shocked that there would be 2,000 defects on the OHLE across the main GA route - I wonder how things got so bad, especially with all the works over the past 6 or 7 years?
A few reasons - first the defects are across all of Anglia, and the OLE replacement work so far has been in in a few sections just between Chelmsford and Liv St; where the work has been completed there are very few defects. Secondly there has been so much other work going on (OLE upgrade, track renewal, resignalling, Olympics, platform extensions, etc) that the maintenance teams have not been able to get the track access - eg the Colchester OLE team can't do work at Marks Tey if the line is closed for upgrade work at Ilford. Third, after the tragic workforce accident at Ingatestone in the summer of 2008, the plant used to maintain the wires was banned for a long time which reduced the productivity of the teams and ultimately the amount that could be done (this was the same everywhere). Fourth, a good proportion of the defects are very minor, and some are overdue routine inspections. Finally the increase in freight traffic overnight means it is now impractical to implement SLW or bi-di working anywhere between Shenfield and Haughley Jn without incurring considerable delays, further reducing opportunity to maintain - a classic conundrum. I think from the next TT change things get a little easier in this respect.

Hope this explains
 

D1009

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A few reasons - first the defects are across all of Anglia, and the OLE replacement work so far has been in in a few sections just between Chelmsford and Liv St; where the work has been completed there are very few defects. Secondly there has been so much other work going on (OLE upgrade, track renewal, resignalling, Olympics, platform extensions, etc) that the maintenance teams have not been able to get the track access - eg the Colchester OLE team can't do work at Marks Tey if the line is closed for upgrade work at Ilford. Third, after the tragic workforce accident at Ingatestone in the summer of 2008, the plant used to maintain the wires was banned for a long time which reduced the productivity of the teams and ultimately the amount that could be done (this was the same everywhere). Fourth, a good proportion of the defects are very minor, and some are overdue routine inspections. Finally the increase in freight traffic overnight means it is now impractical to implement SLW or bi-di working anywhere between Shenfield and Haughley Jn without incurring considerable delays, further reducing opportunity to maintain - a classic conundrum. I think from the next TT change things get a little easier in this respect.

Hope this explains
Hopefully the availability of the route via Ely for large containers will reduce the overnight traffic on the GEML so the bi-di signalling can be used more ?
 
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