Rail closures imminent as platform extension work continues

Uckfield station. Longer trains wanted SUS-140716-123102001
Uckfield station. Longer trains wanted SUS-140716-123102001
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A number of changes and closures will be put in place on the train lines from next month as Southern and Network Rail work together to introduce 10-coach trains between Uckfield and London Bridge.

Before 10-coach trains can operate on this route, all 12 platforms from Edenbridge Town to Uckfield must be lengthened. Eight of the 12 platforms need to be doubled in length.

The platform extension at all eight stations have their own level of complexity based on the geographical nature of the region. This is a significant undertaking which requires some line closures in order to make the necessary improvements.

Network Rail and Southern reviewed numerous options to establish the best way to do the work, to minimise disruption to passengers, and to incorporate as many other planned projects as possible.

The engineering work plan will incorporate off-peak and late evening line closures from Hurst Green to Uckfield in two four-week blocks, a seven-week, all-day closure south of Crowborough, as well as additional weekend or Sunday line closures.

The main impact is summarised below:

November 2 – November 27: the line will be closed between Hurst Green and Uckfield, Monday to Friday between 9:20am and 4:40pm, with changes to last trains Monday to Thursday.

January 4 – February 20: the line will be closed between Crowborough and Uckfield, all day.

February 29 - March 24: the line will be closed between Hurst Green and Uckfield, Monday to Friday between 9:20am and 4:40pm, with changes to last trains Monday to Thursday.

There will be weekend closures from Hurst Green to Uckfield at various points and some overnight line closures, Monday to Thursday, from 11:35pm – 4:40am.

This staggered approach to the project means it will only affect areas when and where the specific works are taking place. It means the project will be delivered as soon as practically possible, with the least amount of people disrupted, compared to other closure options that were reviewed.

Under this plan, Network Rail will also be able to undertake significant drainage works required in Crowborough Tunnel which would not be possible in any other option considered. These must be done and would require significant lengthy line closures in one – two years’ time if not undertaken during these works.

From November 2 - 27, a rail replacement bus service will run. Buses will connect with trains at Oxted for direct trains to London Victoria and East Croydon. Passengers can change at East Croydon for London Bridge.

To plan a journey in detail go to nationalrail.co.uk.

Passengers may need to change buses at Crowborough to comply with bus operating regulations.

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