£11m railway upgrade means 9-day closure of the lines between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes in Sussex: Network Rail engineering work

Wednesday 14 Jul 2021

£11m railway upgrade means 9-day closure of the lines between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes in Sussex

Region & Route:
Southern: Sussex
| Southern

The railway between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes will close for 9-days from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 February 2022, to deliver track replacement work and build a new underpass.

The line closure will allow Network Rail to replace 1980s track at Copyhold Junction (near Haywards Heath), and between Burgess Hill and Lewes. A new underpass to provide safe access under the railway at Hassocks will also be built during the 9-day closure. More work will be brought into the project over the coming months to ensure as much work as possible is done to minimise future disruption to passengers and neighbours.  

When lines are closed, alternative travel arrangements will be put in place for passengers, similar to the February 2019 Three Bridges to Brighton closure, including replacement buses and ticket acceptance on open routes. 

The work will include:

  • Using over 7,000 tonnes of ballast - the stones beneath the track that give support
  • Over 1,000 metres of track renewal
  • 8 sets of point renewals - these are mechanical systems that move the switches and crossings that guide trains from one track to another.

Network Rail Southern region’s investment director Paul Harwood said:

“We never take the decision to close the railway lightly and have reviewed this work and access approach in light of the difficult year for passengers, the industry and the country at large, to confirm it is the best option.

“As we need to get this critical work done quickly and efficiently to help the country and the railway build back from the pandemic, we believe that getting the work done in 9 days and the supporting weekends has never been more important.

“The alternative to delivering this investment over the extended closure in winter, when demand is naturally lower, would have been up to 20 weekend closures or multiple bank holiday closures over two years, which we are confident is unacceptable to our neighbours, passengers and stakeholders, in particular the leisure and tourism industry on the south coast. 

“We are working closely with Govia Thameslink Railway to plan the alternative travel arrangements and make passengers aware of the impact on their journeys, and will regularly liaise with stakeholders and passenger groups as the plans develop”.

Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said:

“This route is one of the country’s busiest, and Network Rail’s track renewal is essential to give our customers the reliable, on-time services they rightly expect. We’ll be ensuring that alternative transport is in place, and we’ll issue detailed travel advice over the coming months. Journeys will take considerably longer during the nine days of work and we thank customers in advance for their patience.”

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.

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: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk