UK infrastructure manager Network Rail has completed the £46m upgrade work to install the overhead wiring system on the Southend Victoria branch line.

The project is expected to enhance reliability for essential workers who are dependent on the line and when passengers return to work in the future.

The wiring system was installed in the 1950s and this is the first instance where the system was upgraded.

Under the project, more than 100km of new overhead wire was installed from Southend Victoria to Shenfield.

The branch line meets with the new overhead line system on the mainline at Shenfield and now the line from Southend to London has a new wiring system.

The system is capable of adapting to the changes in temperature, which will lead to decreased delays, cancellations and reliability.

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Network Rail Anglia route director Ellie Burrows said: “This work was vital to bring the equipment up to 21st century standards, which hugely improves reliability and brings the line up to the modern standards seen on other parts of the network.

“I’d like to thank our Southend passengers for their patience and support while we carried out this extensive work programme. I understand that this has been a difficult time for passengers, especially at the weekends, but I’m confident that these crucial improvements will support the growing number of people using the line for years to come.”

The work was carried out with a nine-day closure and over some weeknights.

Last week, Network Rail completed the work to strengthen a steep railway embankment to increase safety. The work was done on the Barrow-in-Furness to Lancaster railway line.