Rail passengers are being urged to check before they travel this Bank Holiday Weekend as major works are being carried out.
Changes to normal services – including the London Victoria service – should be expected as a result of the improvements being taken on across the south east by some 10,000 Network Rail engineers.
The major projects include:
• Vital track upgrades on the approach to London Victoria station, which is one of the busiest sections of railway in the country. Engineers will replace old switches and crossings – the moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another – with modern, more reliable equipment. The work means Southeastern’s London Victoria services will be diverted to run to and from London Blackfriars on Saturday (August 25), Sunday (August 26) and Monday (August 27).
• A larger piece of work is also taking place between Lewes and Seaford in East Sussex, with the line closed for 10 days from Saturday (August 18) until Tuesday (August 28). Network Rail engineers are replacing all signalling equipment with new, more reliable technology as part of a £20m signalling upgrade due for completion in 2019. Govia Thameslink will provide buses to replace trains between Lewes and Seaford for this period.
• More work inside the Sevenoaks tunnel as part of Network Rail’s ongoing £300m South East reliability programme. Engineers will lay new track after the completion of drainage improvements earlier this year. It means rail replacements buses will operate between Sevenoaks and Tonbridge on Saturday 25, Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August with Southeastern rerouting two trains every hour via Redhill.
John Halsall, Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said: “Hundreds of rail workers across the region will be working around the clock over the long weekend to provide vital upgrades that will give passengers more reliable and more comfortable journeys.
“We recognise that closing the railway has a huge impact for passengers, which is why we’ve planned the work over the four-day bank holiday weekend, when the railway is much quieter than usual.
“These maintenance and upgrade works are absolutely essential to keep the railway safe for the millions of people who use it each year, so I would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding and encourage them to plan ahead before travelling.”
Southeastern train services director Ellie Burrows said, “As part of our engineering and upgrade works over the bank holiday there will be a number of alterations to our services.
“I would like to thank our passengers for their understanding and patience during this time and to ensure they check on our website before embarking upon their journey.”