On and around New Year's Eve, the GEML and Eliz Line eastern leg were blockaded between London and Ingatestone, passengers being redirected to a fleet of doubtless very soggy buses between Ingatestone and Newbury Park, and a crowded soggy Central Line west of NPK. There was minimal information for diverted passengers, and none at Leytonstone, not even station announcements to make sure they were proceeding on the right branch. Quite a few lost souls at Snaresbrook. Presumably NR were paying for the buses, but were LU compensated for extra use of the Central? And how were passengers charged? AFAIK, there are no gates at Ingatestone; was there any ticket inspection on the buses? At Newbury Pk, presumably the gates had to be left open? Ingatestone is about the least commodious station on the GEML, and its up side is pretty inaccessible - with no cover to speak of on the down side. Or is a block payment made by NR/GA to LU to cover all this? Or does nobody care much either way
Greater Anglia and Eliz Line passengers will be used to this blockade - it’s been very common at weekends over the last few years and it’s been a continuous closure this year from 24 December till 2 January.
I’ve no knowledge of how payments between Network Rail, Greater Anglia and TfL work, but from a passengers perspective it’s a fairly slick operation. Gates are open at Newbury Park station and there’s always plenty of buses and plenty of staff, so usually the transfer to buses is quick and easy. At Ingatestone all trains arrive and depart in the down platform which is step-free from the car-park where the buses set down and pick up. I’ve never seen a ticket inspection for the buses.
Occasionally, the GA service has run from Essex to Shenfield, but the replacement buses still run to/from Ingatestone as it has a large car park. In those instances, people have to transfer from the up platform to buses at Ingatestone via the footbridge. GA then also provide an accessible bus to transport passengers that require assistance from the up side platform to the main car park on the down side, where the buses to Newbury Park depart from.
At Leytonstone its is usual for eastbound train drivers to announce its destination and the next station. People ending at Snaresbrook is a different issue, as I cannot recall the Leytonstone announcement including information for diverted GA passsengers.
The GEML closure is a pain for some relatives who very much wanted to catch one of these trains at Stratford. I suggested that they should go to Mile End and change again at Whitechapel as that way they will also benefit from the feeling of descending into the large 'throat' (and then alimentary canal) near the start of the escalator shaft!