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
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.