Rail bosses say essential maintenance work has seen more than a mile of new track laid on the Southend to London line.

Engineering works have been taking place at weekends throughout the summer as part of a project to improve drainage and prevent defects to the line.

Network Rail says it has replaced nearly a mile-and-a-half of track, 1,700 concrete sleepers and 4,500 tonnes of ballast.

Engineers have also installed 40 new catchpits, 180 new drain pipes and 100 tonnes of stone to improve drainage.

Bosses say the work will ensure there are fewer delays between Shoebury and Fenchurch Street.

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Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, Ellie Burrows, said: “This work is essential to keep services running safely and reliably and to minimise delays on the whole line from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness.

“As we’ve seen in recent weeks, drainage work is essential to divert water away from the track and prevent the damage to equipment and embankments that cause delays.”

Follow up engineering work is planned for the weekend of August 14 and 15.

Passengers using the line between Southend and London are advised to check their journeys before they travel.

More information is available at www.nationalrail.co.uk.