Railway improvement works over the bank holiday

Network Rail is continuing its investment programme in the South East this weekend with a series of projects in South London, Kent, and Sussex.

This means, despite the union strike being called off, passengers may be subject to delays and diversions over the bank holiday weekend.

Most notably, the £6.5bn Government-sponsored Thameslink Programme will be digging up and moving track and signals in the London Bridge area to allow for the continued rebuilding of the station.

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Passengers are being advised to check with their operator before they travel as their journeys may be diverted as a result.

Thameslink Programme director Simon Blanchflower said, “Long weekends are absolutely crucial to the success of this project as they give us enough time to do the big jobs, such as relaying the railway, while inconveniencing far fewer passengers that we would on a weekday.

“For instance, London Bridge is used by 145,000 people every weekday – and many more who travel through it to Charing Cross and Cannon Street. Our work this weekend will move the tracks around to create the space to allow the station rebuilding to continue while we still run trains through it.”

David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said, “Network Rail is undertaking significant and important improvement work across our network during this bank holiday weekend. This will affect our passengers seeking to travel in parts of Kent and those travelling into London. We encourage people to please check before making a journey and to please leave more time for travelling if necessary.”

The investment in the south east is part of a £27m investment taking place across Britain’s rail network over the spring bank holiday weekend, involving 14,000 workers.

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive, said, “We are acutely conscious that many people want to use the railway over the bank holiday to reunite with their friends and families, which is why the vast majority of the network is running normally over the long weekend.

“We’d like to apologise to any passengers whose plans are affected by our improvement work, but hope they will understand that this is a quieter time on the railway and we want to minimise the overall impact of these vital projects on passengers.”

The major investment schemes in the South East this bank holiday include:

- track and signalling improvements at London Bridge will mean London Charing Cross, London Cannon Street and Waterloo East stations will be closed on Saturday (May 23), Sunday (May 24) and Monday (May 25).

- Southeastern services will also not serve London Bridge except for trains to and from Hastings. Trains will be diverted to either London Victoria or London Blackfriars with some trains starting their journey at New Cross.

- There will be track maintenance on lines through Mitcham Junction and between Horsham and Arundel on Sunday.

Please see www.nationalrail.co.uk for more information.

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