Brighton Mainline Improvements on schedule as passengers reminded of November closures: Brighton Mainline Upgrade Clayton Tunnel Oct 18 (9)

Tuesday 30 Oct 2018

Brighton Mainline Improvements on schedule as passengers reminded of November closures

Region & Route:
South East
Southern

Weekend passengers are being reminded to check before they travel in November as work on a £67million upgrade to the Brighton Mainline  progresses on schedule.

Network Rail engineers are carrying out the first overhaul of the railway between Three Bridges and Brighton in more than 30 years by improving track, signalling and drainage to stop flooding inside Victorian tunnels on the line, which has become one of the least reliable in the south east.

The line will be closed between Three Bridges and Brighton, and Three Bridges and Lewes, on Saturday 3 November, Saturday 10 November and the weekend of the 24 November, while engineers work in and around the tunnels at Balcombe and Clayton.

Work has taken place at 25 separate sites so far and has included the renewal of 2.7 miles of conductor rail, 532 yards of track and 15 signal heads and the replacement of thousands of tonnes of ballast.

November's work will see the renewal of more track inside the Clayton Tunnel, new signals installed between Patcham and Preston Park and the replacement of electrical circuits between Three Bridges and Balcombe.

This work, together with a nine-day closure in the school half-term week between 16 and 24 February 2019, will  improve reliability by more than 10% for passengers travelling between London and the south coast.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail’s Director of Route Investment for the South East, said: “We are working hard to make the least reliable part of our network better for passengers by upgrading the southern end of the Brighton Main Line.

“We know there’s never a good time to close the railway, which is why we’re working closely with our train operator partners to provide the best advice so that passengers are inconvenienced as little as possible during our works in November and beyond.”

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s Infrastructure Director, said: “Network Rail’s works to upgrade the Brighton Main Line really are vital for us to improve our service, but we appreciate many of our passengers who use the railway at the weekends are being inconvenienced in the short-term.

“I’d remind travellers in Brighton and surrounding towns that we’re making every effort to keep them open for business with an extensive bus replacement service in place, as well as indirect train routes to and from London and Brighton available via the longer route through Littlehampton.”

The £67m Brighton Main Line Improvement Project is part of a wider £300m programme to improve the reliability of some of the busiest and most congested lines in the south east, including on the recently expanded Thameslink network.

Notes to Editors

About the Brighton Main Line Improvement Project

Network Rail’s improvement work will focus on four Victorian-era tunnels – Balcombe, Clayton, Patcham and Haywards Heath – and the railway which runs through them. A major programme to stem leaks into the tunnels and provide reliable drainage away from the tracks will take place, while sections of the track, third rail power system and signalling will be replaced or upgraded. Elsewhere, track will be renewed, sets of points, which enable trains to switch between tracks, will be replaced and fencing will be improved to deter trespassers.

The £67m investment is part of a £300m government-funded programme to boost infrastructure resilience and reliability on the busiest routes in the south east. It will reduce delays on the line by around 15% when complete, meaning better and more reliable journeys for passengers.

Dates of planned closures

Further closures take place over the weekends commencing the 3, 10, 24 and 25 November in 2018.

In 2019, there will be closures on 6 January, 9 and 10 February before the planned nine-day closure from 16 to 24 February, and then weekend closures on 2 , 23 and 30 March, 6 April and a final one day closure on 5 May.

During these closure periods, no trains will run between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes via Haywards Heath. Direct services between London and Brighton will continue to run albeit diverted via Littlehampton and Horsham. A network of replacement bus services will operate for the intermediate stations between Three Bridges and Brighton and between Three Bridges and Lewes for the East Coastway. Passengers should allow considerably more time for their journeys during these periods.

A full closure list can be found on the Brighton Mainline Upgrade website here: www.brightonmainline.co.uk along with extensive travel advice.

  • To sign up for free alerts and to find out more about the work – including the dates of planned weekend closures – go to www.brightonmainline.co.uk. News and information will also be shared on Twitter, @brighton_line.
  • The closure dates in detail are as follows:

Dates

Sat

Sun

6-7 Oct

Closed

Closed

13-14 Oct

Closed

Closed

20-21 Oct

Closed

Closed

27-28 Oct

Closed

Closed

3-4 Nov

Closed

-

10-11 Nov

Closed

-

17-18 Nov

-

-

24-25 Nov

Closed

Closed

1-2 Dec

-

-

8-9 Dec

-

-

15-16 Dec

-

-

22-23 Dec

-

-

29-30 Dec

-

-

2019

-

-

5-6 Jan

-

Closed

12-13 Jan

-

-

19-20 Jan

-

-

26-27 Jan

Closed

Closed

2-3 Feb

-

-

9-10 Feb

Closed

Closed

16-24 Feb

Closed for Feb Half term (including weekdays)

2-3 March

Closed

Closed

9-10 March

-

-

16-17 March

-

-

23-24 March

Closed

-

30-31 March

Closed

Closed

6-7 April

Closed

Closed

13-14 April

-

-

20-21 April

-

-

27-28 April

-

-

4-5 May

-

Closed

 

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Scott Wilson
Media Manager - Thameslink
Network Rail
07734 650735
scott.wilson@networkrail.co.uk

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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