Ashford and Kent rail passengers advised to check before they travel this weekend and over Christmas: Ashford International aerial

Wednesday 20 Nov 2019

Ashford and Kent rail passengers advised to check before they travel this weekend and over Christmas

Region & Route:
South East

Ashford and Kent rail passengers are advised to check before they travel this weekend, 23-24 November and between 26 – 29 December, as Network Rail works to improve the railway between Ashford International and Canterbury West stations.  

On these dates, Southeastern Highspeed and Eurostar services will not stop at Ashford and main line services will be subject to change. Network Rail will be working to replace switches and crossings – the moveable section of rail that allow trains to switch track and upgrade drainage to improve track quality and reduce delays caused by track faults.

The vast majority of the rail network in Kent will be open for business over Christmas and New Year, but passengers are advised to continue to check before they travel as there will be changes to some services.

Fiona Taylor, route director, Kent said: “The work we are doing at Ashford this weekend and over Christmas will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers when complete.

“The railway is quieter at Christmas which is why we do our major work then, but we appreciate it’s still a busy time for people visiting family and friends so please check before you travel.”

Over the Christmas period, Network Rail engineers will be carrying out the engineering works on the railway in Kent:

  • On Sunday 29 December, services between St Johns and Dartford via Sidcup will be subject to change and on Tuesday 1 January, services between Lewisham and Petts Wood / Dartford via Grove Park and Sidcup will be subject to changes as Network Rail works on a major signalling upgrade in the area. Find out more at
  • Other essential maintenance work will be undertaken in the Brixton area on 29 December and Lewisham on 1 January. A Sunday service will be in place.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at A breakdown of how journeys will be affected can also be found by visiting and following #XmasRailWorks on Twitter.

Notes to Editors

Bexleyheath line improvement work -

  • Network Rail will also be closing the railway between Kidbrooke and Barnehurst from Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 February 2020 to carry out major work that will protect passengers from disruption caused by landslips.
  • The work involves removing 2,500 tonnes of mud and trees so engineers can reduce the steepness of the cutting slopes, which are prone to landslips during long periods of wet weather.
  • Working with Southeastern, we will keep passengers moving by increasing services on other lines, but trains will be significantly busier, and journeys will take longer than usual. Passengers are advised to travel outside of peak times if possible. Those who have the option may want to consider working from home. 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Leonard Bennett

About Network Rail

We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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