A busy train line reopened fully on Friday night, over a month ahead of schedule, but weekend disruptions are set to continue.

The first phase of work to upgrade the overhead wiring system as part of a £46million programme to reduce delays and improve reliability has been completed.

Weeknight closures on the Greater Anglia Southend Victoria line to Liverpool Street were introduced in May to accelerate the programme, as engineers installed over 100 structures to carry overhead wires between Shenfield and Liverpool Street.

Weekend closures were introduced in September, during which one kilometre of overhead wires between Shenfield and Billericay were being worked on.

A bus replacement service will also run on some weekends during November and for a ten-day period over Christmas and New Year.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We know customers find engineering works inconvenient, but we make sure they can always complete their journeys, even if part of it is by bus. It’s great news that Network Rail has completed the first section ahead of schedule. This work is essential so that we can run a more reliable railway.

“Combined with the new trains we’re getting from 2019, we are working hard to modernise the railway in East Anglia.”

The service runs from Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street, including stops at Rochford, Rayleigh and Billericay. The wires and structures that are currently in place form a system that is one of the oldest in the country, having been installed in the Fifties. When the weather gets hot, the old wires sag and speed restrictions have to be imposed to protect them from damage by trains, leading to delays and cancellations. Check greateranglia.co.uk before travelling.