Trains between Liverpool Street and Chingford to be cancelled for 16 full days in the summer as crews replace 150-year-old bridge

Ongoing work under the 150-year-old bridge in Hackney Downs Park
Ongoing work under the 150-year-old bridge in Hackney Downs Park -Credit:Network Rail

A train line between London and Essex will be completely out of action for more than two weeks this summer due to "vital" works on a bridge taking place. There will be no trains between Liverpool Street and Chingford for 16 full days in July and August.

Network Rail said they are at a "critical" stage of a bridge replacement project at the south of Hackney Downs Park. The bridge, which is 150 years old, carries the junction of Downs Park Road and Bodney Road. It backs directly onto a tunnel, which emerges further down the line towards Clapton.

The critical work is set to be carried out from Saturday, July 20 to Sunday, August 4. Network Rail says the bridge's cast iron girders are in poor condition, and they are continuing to deteriorate. A replacement structure is needed to avoid an unplanned closure and keep passengers and road users moving in future, they said.

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Over 16 consecutive days, engineers from Network Rail’s contractor Murphy will demolish the old bridge and start building the new one. Network Rail has given the below advice for the 16 days of this work being carried out:

  • No London Overground services will run between Hackney Downs and Chingford stations. This means there will be no rail service to or from Clapton, St James Street, Walthamstow Central, Wood Street, Highams Park and Chingford stations

  • The London Underground Victoria line from Walthamstow Central will be operating throughout this time to help people get around, including the Night Tube on Fridays and Saturdays

  • Local buses will be running across the affected route.

  • Passengers wanting to travel between Liverpool Street and Hackney Downs / Bethnal Green will be able to use London Overground services running to and from Enfield Town and Cheshunt.

  • London Overground services to and from Enfield Town and Cheshunt may have different timetables during the 16 days, so regular passengers should check before they set off.

  • Greater Anglia services that usually run between Liverpool Street and Hertford East will start and finish at Stratford instead. The usual Stratford – Meridian Water services won’t run, but other services will make additional stops at both Meridian Water and Northumberland Park. Additionally, Liverpool Street to Cambridge / Stansted Airport services will be diverted via and call at Seven Sisters instead of Tottenham Hale. Bishop’s Stortford to Stratford services will not operate, with passengers advised to use alternative services.

The 150-year-old Hackney Downs Park bridge that needs to be replaced due to its poor condition
The 150-year-old Hackney Downs Park bridge that needs to be replaced due to its poor condition -Credit:Network Rail

Train services will also be affected by preparatory and follow-up works on:

  • Sunday 23 June

  • Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July

  • Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 August

  • Sunday 1 September

  • Sunday 8 September

Work began on site last month, and part of Downs Park Road is already closed to vehicles. The closure will be extended to pedestrians and cyclists from July 2024. The project is expected to be completed, and Downs Park Road fully reopened, by early 2025. The new bridge is designed to last for 120 years.

Simon Milburn, Network Rail Anglia infrastructure director, said: “Thousands of people travel under and over this bridge every day by rail and road, and our project is vital to keeping their future journeys safe and reliable. We’re sorry for the disruption this summer but we’ll be working flat out to deliver a replacement bridge that will serve the community for generations to come.”

Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, said: “These Network Rail works are essential to ensure London Overground services can continue to operate safely and reliably for many years to come. My advice is to plan ahead, check before you travel and allow extra time to complete your journey while this work is taking place.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “Customers are advised to check before they travel and allow more time for their journeys while this work takes place. We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while this essential work is carried out.”