Dover to Folkestone railway to reopen on Monday, 5 September, three months ahead of schedule.: DJI 0038

Monday 22 Aug 2016

Dover to Folkestone railway to reopen on Monday, 5 September, three months ahead of schedule.

Region & Route:
South East

The railway between Dover and Folkestone will reopen on Monday, 5 September following a nine-month project to repair the line.

Passengers from Dover, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich and Martin Mill will soon be able to use a full train service again, as Network Rail completes a £39.8m project. The line between Dover and Folkestone had to be closed on Christmas Eve last year after extensive damage to the sea wall was found at Shakespeare beach.

Since then, Network Rail’s orange army has worked to build a new 235 metre long viaduct supported by more than 130 concrete columns.

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne, said: "This project is a huge achievement for all involved and I'm extremely proud of what has been done by those who have been working on the project since December.

"Finishing this project three months ahead of schedule is a reflection of the continuous hard work that has been taking place here, setting the standard expected at Network Rail.

“We face some big challenges in the coming years but with the skills and the dedication on show here at Dover I know we will face them head on.”

Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for South East route John Halsall said: “On Christmas Eve last year, parts of the railway between Dover and Folkestone were completely destroyed.

“By Boxing Day, engineers were on site and since then have been working around the clock to get our railway back up and running, completing this repair work in just nine months when a job like this would normally take two years.

A huge thanks to the team for their hard work and I also would like to thank passengers on this line for their patience while the railway has been closed.”

Richard Dean, Southeastern’s Train Services Director, said: “We would like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding while this massive project was undertaken.

“When the sea wall was damaged and the railway severed it meant we were unable to run all of our services, including a full high speed service. We made sure we provided alternatives and paid compensation to passengers, but none of that is a full substitute.

“It is great news that the railway will open in just a fortnight on Monday 5 September.”

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal said: “The work that has taken place in the last nine months is a tremendous piece of British engineering, and a tribute to the dedication of both Network Rail and Costain staff.

“The railway between Dover and Folkestone is a key method of transport for residents of Dover and Deal and I’m delighted that it has been returned to them within a year of the line being closed.”

Following the 5th September, due to the scale of this project we still have three Sunday’s of follow up work to complete; this will allow us to complete final works resulting in smoother and quieter journeys for passengers.

The work will take place on the 11th September, 2nd October and 9th October. If you are planning to travel on these dates, please check before you travel.

Throughout the duration of the work at Dover, a new timetable was put in place with a day and night bus service running to ensure passengers could keep moving.

Passengers who use the line between Dover and Folkestone were also offered a compensation package along with free car parking permits at Folkestone West whilst the line was closed.

While the railway has been closed between Dover and Folkestone, Network Rail has invested an additional £3.5m to make the line more resilient.

The work has included brickwork repairs on Shakespeare, Abbotscliffe and Martello tunnels, 2.4km of new track, and drainage work in Abbotscliffe tunnel. 

Dover project summary and timeline

  • The railway between Dover and Folkestone will reopen three months ahead of schedule
  • Engineers are working to build a new 235 metre-long viaduct, supported by 134 concrete columns
  • A project of this scale would normally take two years from design to completion but the teams in the South East have done it in nine months
  • As we are ahead of schedule, projects costs have come down from £44.5m to £39.8m


Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Sian Mason
Network Rail
020 3357 7969

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.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: