RAIL passengers have been urged to check before they travel ahead of upgrade works beginning this weekend.

Network Rail is preparing for ten weekends of upgrade works starting on Saturday. 

The firm has advised major upgrades will take place on the Great Eastern main line between London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone as part of the on-going investment to modernise the route into London.

The works, which include the replacement of overhead power lines and replacing old track, can only be carried out when the railway is closed so journeys will be affected.

Witham MP Priti Patel said: “There is never a good time to close the railway as someone will always be disadvantaged.

“I would advise anyone travelling to check before they travel and allow extra time for their journey.”

During the first eight weekends, no train services will operate between London Liverpool Street and Ingatestone or Wickford.

An Abellio Greater Anglia bus replacement service will be operating between Ingatestone and Wickford, calling at Newbury Park for the central line.

TFL Rail will also be operating a bus replacement service between Stratford and Shenfield, calling at Newbury Park as well.

During the final two weekends, Abellio Greater Anglia rail replacement services will operate from Chelmsford and Witham to Billericay where passengers can change for train services to and from London.

TFL Rail replacement services will operate between Gidea Park and Shenfield on the first of the two weekends and all TFL Rail services will re-open for the final weekend.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at nationalrail.co.uk or abelliogreateranglia.co.uk.