Major railway improvements completed on time in Sussex and south London as part of a multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan: Sanderstead Road railway bridge

Tuesday 7 Jan 2020

Major railway improvements completed on time in Sussex and south London as part of a multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan

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Passengers are thanked for their patience after a busy programme of improvement work took place.

Network Rail staff have worked round the clock as part of our multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan. Passengers will benefit from a more reliable railway after the completion of upgrades across Sussex during the Christmas and New Year period.

The work in Sussex included partial replacement of Sanderstead Road railway bridge which involved transporting new bridge decks from Ireland, where they were fabricated. The bridge which sits below one of the country’s busiest stretches of railway, originally dates back to 1839. The wrought iron bridge decks were built in 1909 and needed a complete replacement.

Extensive preparation work was required to ensure this work was completed on time along with establishing a working area in the nearby South Croydon Recreation Ground where the new bridge decks were delivered and prepared. The existing bridge decks were then removed and replaced with the new concrete decks.

Fresh railway track has been laid to improve the reliability of the railway and a full month of work will also be dedicated to preparing and restoring the recreation ground before it reopens to the community by the end of March 2020.

This upgrade will extend the life of Sanderstead Road railway bridge along with preventing unplanned closures.

Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, Shaun King, said: “The hard work by our teams across Sussex will make a real difference to our passengers, especially those who use the Sanderstead Road railway bridge.

"I would like to thank passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience while we completed this essential work and can assure them that we will continue to invest in the railway and provide passengers with an ever-improving service."

Over 2018/19, we also invested £67m to upgrade infrastructure and tackle delay hotspots as part of the Brighton Main Line Improvement Project, which is expected to reduce delays by up to 15%. We’re still investing heavily to continue improving services for passengers with the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS), which will remove the most challenging bottleneck on Britain’s rail network, reducing delays and increasing capacity to meet future passenger demand.

Notes to Editors

Railway Upgrade Plan

  • As part of our multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, we’re working for you to allow trains to run more frequently, faster, and to improve the reliability of the rail network to reduce delays in the future.
  • Network Rail is investing to upgrade signalling, tracks, structures, embankments, stations and depots to give passengers in Sussex, Kent and the South West, better journeys with fewer delays.
  • Our timetables are planned 12 months in advance, and we schedule in the time needed for planned works to improve the rail network.
  • When we need to carry out planned engineering works, such as replacing tracks or upgrading signalling systems, we might need to close a section of track for 24 hours or longer to complete the upgrade work efficiently and safely.
  • Trains run 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so there’s no time when the network isn’t being used, meaning works can cause some disruption for passengers and businesses.
  • We plan works for certain times, so they cause the least disruption to passengers such as on bank holidays, Sundays and overnight, when the network is less busy.

Contact information

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

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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.

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