Engineering work moved to help Seagulls fans reach FA Cup semi-final at Wembley: Sammy Salute 06 lr

Wednesday 20 Mar 2019

Engineering work moved to help Seagulls fans reach FA Cup semi-final at Wembley

Region & Route:

Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway are pleased to announce they have been able to move the engineering work scheduled to take place on the Brighton main line on 6 April.


The date of the works clashed with Brighton & Hove Albion FC’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley, so GTR and Network Rail immediately started discussions on ways to accommodate the fans.

Paul Harwood, Director of Investment at Network Rail south east, said: “We congratulate the Seagulls on reaching the semi-finals.

“This match is incredibly important, not just to so many Brighton fans but also the wider Brighton economy, so we started planning to reschedule the work as soon as Brighton were through to the semi-finals. With the kick-off details confirmed yesterday afternoon we're now pleased to announce our decision.

“Moving the work means we can accommodate the fans, but also hold firm on our promise to complete our £67 million reliability upgrade to the Brighton main line.

“We will update passengers soon once we have confirmed a replacement date to complete the work before the summer.”

The work on Saturday, 6 April, will be rescheduled to another date set to be confirmed. However, the work planned for Sunday, 7 April, will continue as advertised with a rail replacement bus service in place for passengers.

Keith Jipps, GTR Infrastructure Director, said: “We wish the Seagulls the best of luck. By working with Network Rail to reschedule this essential work, fans will have a much easier journey from the south coast and back."

George Hunt, the football club’s transport manager, added: “We’re delighted that we’ve been able to work with Network Rail and GTR to successfully reschedule the work to allow our fans to travel to Wembley on trains instead of replacement buses.

“We’ve worked really closely with Network Rail and GTR over the past two years and look forward to working together as we move forward.”

For more information and to sign up for free alerts, visit or follow @brighton_line on Twitter. To plan your journey visit

Notes to Editors

  • Majority funded by the Department for Transport as part of a wider £300 million programme, the project will tackle delay hotspots and boost reliability on one of the busiest and most unreliable parts of the network.
  • The £67 million work on this stretch of railway is renewing and upgrading track junctions and signalling, shoring up embankments to reduce the risk of landslides and introducing new technology that not only detects potential problems before they occur, but can help the railway recover faster if there is a fault.
  • There is also extensive work within four Victorian tunnels – Balcombe, Clayton, Patcham and Haywards Heath – which includes track, signalling and drainage work to improve reliability and reduce delays for passengers in the future.
  • More than three quarters of passengers made alternative travel arrangements, worked from home or took annual leave during the 9-day closure during the school half-term last month, thanks to an extensive passenger awareness campaign, which was praised by independent watchdog Transport Focus.
  • More than two years of planning has gone into the Brighton main line improvement works

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Paul Dent-Jones

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.

Usually, there are almost five 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: