RAIL replacement services will be in place over the weekend as improvement works are carried out on the Clacton and Walton branch lines.

Network Rail said essential rail works will take place on the lines to improve reliability for those who need to travel and when more passengers return in the future.

Engineers will carry out track maintenance and replace hundreds of components on the overhead wires on the Clacton branch line, as part of a package of work to increase reliability, reducing delays and cancellations.

Bridge track supports will also be replaced between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton and new rails will be installed at Weeley.

This means a rail replacement service will run between Colchester and Clacton and Walton from Saturday to Tuesday and those who need to travel by train are advised to check how their journey will be affected.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Our teams are carrying out vital upgrades and maintenance work to keep the rail network running safely and smoothly and reduce the number of delays and cancellations.

“This will benefit those who need to travel now and improve reliability for when more passengers return.

“Those who need to travel by train should check how their journey will be affected and follow the latest government advice on travelling.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia’s managing director, said Government advice is still to only travel if it’s absolutely necessary.

He added: “We will run a rail replacement bus service for key workers and those who do need to make essential journeys and measures will be in place to help people socially distance.

“Anyone who does need to make an essential journey should follow Government advice and use a face covering.”

Go to nationalrail.co.uk.