The Abbey Wood to Paddington section opened to passengers on 24 May 2022 , although initially trains will not run on Sundays or call at Bond Street.
Once the route is open, services in the central London section will run every five minutes between 06:30 BST and 23:00, although a full timetable will not be in place until May 2023.
It does not appear that there will be a lift to platform 4 on Brentwood Station.
From Greater Anglia ( 13th May 2022):
Here’s this week’s update from Greater Anglia (GA) with information on performance, the completion and official opening of the station upgrade at March and other recent developments, plus our latest Stakeholder News e-zine. Performance
It’s been an excellent week for performance with punctuality averaging 96.7% across our network, with more good work from our teams and colleagues at Network Rail, Stadler and Alstom. March station upgrade
The improvements were unveiled by the Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Dr. Nik Johnson and there were also speeches from Cllr Chris Seaton, Cabinet Member for Transport for Fenland District Council, and our Asset Management Director, Simone Bailey. Other key local stakeholders, including local MP Steve Barclay and the Hereward Community Rail Partnership, were also present.
The enhancements are especially timely given that the role of rail as a sustainable mode of travel is even more important than ever. We now have an excellent, modernised station served by our new, high quality, state-of-the-art, bi-mode trains - which are already in operation on our Ipswich to Peterborough services. They are really raising the standard for regional rail travel in the UK – comfortable, air conditioned, with wifi, plugs and USB ports and industry-leading accessibility features, such as the combination of low floors and retractable steps to enable level boarding at many stations – great for those with pushchairs, heavy luggage and bikes or those using wheelchairs or buggies.
The project to upgrade the station has been a classic example of the railway and local partners working together to deliver a better service for the communities they serve. This collaborative approach will continue, aiming to improve facilities and services to create an attractive alternative to the car for more sustainable journeys between Fenland towns and other regional centres, such as Peterborough, Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich. Other developments
Other recent developments have included :
We joined with the Norfolk and Norwich Festival to herald the opening of this year’s event, with a special fanfare at Norwich station yesterday. Passengers at the station enjoyed the unusual sight of three members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who are appearing at this year’s Festival, performing a short trumpet composition as a curtain raiser to this year's event. The occasion also marks the positive partnership between Greater Anglia and the Festival. Our role as Travel Partners for the major regional arts event, continues a relationship between the Festival and the region's railways which now stretches back an impressive 32 years to 1990. More details of the Festival, which is celebrating its 250th anniversary, can be found at www.nnfestival.org.uk and with late evening trains back to Sheringham, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Ipswich and Cambridge there are plenty of opportunities to take the train into Norwich to see some of the exciting mix of music, dance, cabaret and performance events on offer during this year’s event which runs until Sunday 29 May.
A special train is to run through Essex to raise awareness of the climate emergency – and for everyone who travels, a tree will be planted. The family event is being organised by the Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership with support from Greater Anglia, Essex Path to Prosperity, Essex County Council and The Essex Forest Initiative. The train will depart Wickford station at 10.06 on Sunday 22 May, arriving at North Fambridge for an hour-long guided walk through the Blue House Farm Nature Reserve and around the Sea Wall. On the train, families will receive free fun-filled climate change activity packs which will include an I-spy game for the walk. The walk will finish at North Fambridge Village Hall where refreshments will be provided and a display by the Essex Climate Action Commission will provide insight into how people in the county can work together to tackle climate change. Attendees will return on the 13:21 train back to Wickford Station. Tickets are £5 per adult and £3 per child, which includes the return rail fare from Wickford, and can be booked at railplus.greateranglia.co.uk/specials/community-rail-partnerships/climate-awareness-event-22nd-may.html. The Essex Forest Initiative is supporting this event and for every ticket purchased a tree will be planted. Well done to Jayne, Catherine and the team at the CRP for arranging this special initiative.
We’ve launched the online virtual tour for Southend Victoria station – following on from Cambridge, Norwich, Stansted Airport, Colchester, Shenfield, Bishops Stortford, Broxbourne, Chelmsford and Harlow Town. This positive facility, designed to help people travel with confidence, is especially useful for disabled customers wanting to check how accessible their journey will be. The tour has been created to support journey planning, give customers a clearer picture of the station before they travel and reduce anxiety about how they’ll get around between the car park and the platforms and the rest of the station. A similar online tour is being developed for Ipswich. And finally…..
Just a reminder that the new timetable starts on Sunday 15 May, so please check before you travel when making journeys from next week, as there are a number of changes. We are adding more seats and more services, including extra trains for holidaymakers travelling to and around the region and some increases to commuter services to match demand. Notable features of the new schedules are as follows:
Intercity services between Norwich and London half-hourly all day until 21.00 Monday to Friday when they become hourly, half-hourly until early evening (then hourly) on Saturdays and mainly hourly on Sundays.
Some additional services and some longer trains on services between Ipswich, Colchester, Clacton/Walton, Harwich, Braintree, Chelmsford, Southend Victoria, Southminster and London Liverpool Street, including in the evening rush hour.
More new and longer trains on routes between Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford and London Liverpool Street and on the Hertford East line once platform lengthening works are complete later this year.
Stansted Express services between Stansted Airport and London Liverpool Street will be mostly half-hourly, with some extra trains at busier times.
Rural services between Norwich and Lowestoft, Cambridge/Stansted Airport, Sheringham, and Great Yarmouth; between Ipswich and Cambridge, Felixstowe, Lowestoft and Peterborough; and between Marks Tey and Sudbury will continue with the usual service.
Extra summer services will run between Norwich and Great Yarmouth on Saturdays from 21 May to 10 September, and on Mondays and Fridays from 18 July to 2 September, providing over 66,000 extra seats for holiday-makers over the peak summer period. There will also be additional early Sunday services between Ipswich and Peterborough, departing Ipswich at 07.55 and returning from Peterborough at 09.50, from 15 May to 11 September.
We’re working hard to match service capacity and frequency to demand. Passenger numbers are currently still lower than pre-pandemic levels, at around 77 per cent of 2019 levels across the Greater Anglia network overall, but falling to around 60 per cent for commuting to London. As ever, we’re monitoring demand closely, on a daily basis, so if there is a case for adding extra capacity or extra services we can respond promptly, though we have also planned for anticipated increases in travel in the summer timetable schedules. Our priority will always be to run a very good service and to encourage more customers to take the train.
Thanks, as always, to colleagues across Greater Anglia for again delivering a very good service for our customers and communities across East Anglia - with the usual valuable support from colleagues at Network Rail, Stadler, Alstom and our other rail industry partners.
Head of Corporate Affairs
T: +44 (0) 7767 644267
One Stratford Place
Greater Anglia trains have made some changes (see website) to the timetable from 7th February 2022.
They are adding more services to their weekday timetable and the weekend timetable will remain unchanged.
Brentwood station closing early
The BBARUA Rail Officer, Richard Enever, wrote to TfL customer services early in 2021 objecting to cuts in Brentwood Station ticket office opening hours and TfL agreed to a review by the management team after 17th May 2021.
The station ticket office was to be open all day except for a lunch break of 40 minutes.
Recently platform 4 exit to Alexandra Road has been closed at 11pm as there are no staff at that time, meaning that wheelchair users and others with restricted mobility are unable to leave the platform as there is no lift from the platform.
The staffing of the entrance hall at Warley Hill has been unpredictable.
Richard has again written to Transport for London asking for action to be taken.
Richard is compiling a list of times that the barriers have been closed when they were supposed to be open. If you have found the barriers closed, please contact Richard on 01277 229899 and let him know the date and time that it occurred - thanks.
Lift to platforms 2&3 now working
15/7/21 The lift to platform 2&3 was out of order earlier today but has now been repaired.
Senior Citzens Railcard
Senior Citizens railcards are now available from the Brentwood rail station ticket office.
Reopening of entrance/exit to platform 4 and new help point
The level access entrance to platform 4 at Brentwood Rail Station is now open all day.
Members of BBARUA had noticed that the gate was closed and found that it was only open around the morning and evening rush hours.
BBARUA contacted Jim Hoare of the Brentwood Access Group who in turn contacted MTR who are responsible for running the station.
MTR reopened the gate on 23 July 2020.
A new help point has been installed between platforms 2 and 3.
TfL’s Brentwood Station Help Point U-turn
Transport for London has agreed to locate a help point on platform four at Brentwood station,
reversing its earlier view that one on a footbridge at the top of a steep flight of steps was sufficient.
The Brentwood Bus and Rail Users’ Association has been campaigning for the help point to be reinstated
on the Shenfield-bound platform for several months and had received a blank refusal until it wrote earlier this autumn to TfL Commissioner Mike Brown.
Now TfL is to install a temporary help point close to the barriers on platform four in the next few days,
and has committed to providing a permanent one within the next three months. The temporary point will remain in place until then.
BBARUA Vice-Chair Cllr David Jobbins said: “This is great news for all rail travellers using Brentwood station but especially for those with mobility issues,
or unable to tackle a flight of steps to the help point on the footbridge.
“Other platforms had a help point and it is unfortunate that platform four, which lacks a passenger lift to the footbridge and ticket office, was without one.
Now users will be able to obtain information about services and summon assistance if they feel threatened or vulnerable. In particular,
travellers with disabilities will be able to obtain help without having to make a lengthy trek to the booking hall via Station Parade and Kings Road.
“We know that the platform barrier is often not staffed in the evenings after the ticket office closes and TfL personnel cannot be everywhere on the station.
But it is at night that travellers are rightly concerned that they may encounter issues, while people with disabilities are completely
cut off from any way of seeking help because of the stairs.
“Welcome though this news from TfL is, the BBARUA will continue to campaign with Brentwood Access Group and others for a lift on
platform four so that all passengers can reach the ticket office and other platforms without undue difficulty.”
Currently 97 stations are scheduled for projects to improve access and the Department for Transport said in April that these would be completed by March 2024. Brentwood was not on the list, despite originally being due to have a lift on platform four when lifts were installed on the other two platforms some years ago.
In July the government announced a £20 million fund to improve stations for people with disabilities but it covers minor works and not projects such as the lift installation at Brentwood, which has proved more costly than anticipated.