THE number of passengers travelling from the East of England into London for work is set to rise by almost 50 per cent in the next 20 years.

Fresh figures from Network Rail, which owns the line, show the number of people using the line at peak times is set jump by 49 per cent by 2031, from 16,500 to 24,600.

Network Rail now plans to invest £2.2billion in order to boost capacity and make trains more reliable for commuters.

It is the largest investment since the Victorian era.

The company’s business plan for the line, which outlines proposed work between 2014 and 2019, has been submitted to the Office of Rail Regulation, which will take a final decision in October.

The proposed changes include replacing the track between London Liverpool Street and Norwich as well as replacing overhead power lines between Liverpool Street and Chelmsford. 

Network Rail is also proposing to build a second station in Chelmsford, at Beaulieu Park.