Wednesday 1 Oct 2014
KENT: Trains diverted after rail equipment damaged
- South East
Network Rail has taken emergency action to remove a damaged piece of railway where a number of key routes meet in South East London.
This means a number of services have had to be changed across South East London - and a small number in Kent. A temporary timetable has been put in place to keep trains moving.
Network Rail’s area director for Kent, Ellie Burrows, said: “The piece of equipment that has failed allows trains to cross from one set of tracks to another at Lewisham. Unfortunately, it is not an off-the-shelf piece of equipment, so a bespoke replacement will have to be made for this location.
“We hope to have the railway back in full operation within four weeks and in the meantime I apologise to passengers who have had to change their journeys.
“We have a stringent testing regime that picked up the damaged rail, but the problem was so serious we had to take immediate action.”
The trains affected in Kent are some of the morning and evening peak services between Broadstairs and Cannon Street, via Faversham and Chatham. These trains will be diverted to and from Blackfriars for at least the rest of this week and passengers are advised to check before the travel. Tickets will be accepted on trains from Blackfriars to London Bridge until services can resume their normal journeys.
Southeastern managing director, David Statham, said: “Passengers travelling through Lewisham over the next few weeks will see changes to their trains because of a damaged rail that needs to be replaced
“Detailed information and travel advice is available on our website and will be updated regularly to help you plan your journey. We’re sorry for the disruption that this will cause to your journeys but can assure you we’re doing everything possible to fix this problem as soon as we can.”
Notes to editors
The damaged piece of equipment at Lewisham is known as a ‘diamond crossing’, because of its shape. It allows trains to cross from one set of tracks to another at Lewisham, where a number of busy routes to and from London converge.
Unlike cars on roads, trains can only cross between tracks at certain locations. Until the damaged crossing is replaced, some trains will not be able to use their normal routes and will either be cancelled or diverted.
The trains most affected in South East London are the Dartford to Victoria services, which will be diverted via Sidcup.
Stations immediately affected are Lewisham, Blackheath, Kidbrooke, Eltham, Falconwood, Welling, Bexleyheath Barnehurst and Dartford.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.