Friday 19 Jun 2020
Multi-million-pound summer investment in Sussex with Oxted Viaduct and Eridge footbridge
Passengers in Sussex will feel the benefits of a major renewal and refurbishment to Oxted Viaduct and a footbridge replacement in Eridge, a village on the Uckfield branch of the Oxted line.
Oxted viaduct was constructed in 1881 and the bridge carries two railway lines over the A25 road and the River Eden on the line running from South Croydon to Uckfield. Over the next few months, engineers will be blast cleaning and repainting Oxted Viaduct and carrying out extensive repairs to the steelwork.
Eridge station serves the rural district in East Sussex with Southern trains services via the Uckfield Branch of the Oxted Line. The existing staircases and bridge will be replaced with a new modern-designed footbridge.
The platform canopies at Eridge station will also be refurbished, improving the overall passenger experience for passengers commuting to London or visiting the Spa Valley Railway.
Paul Harwood, regional investment director for Network Rail, said:
“The Oxted Viaduct is more than 100 years old and like any structure of that age, needs maintenance and servicing.
“Overhauling the viaduct is essential to ensuring we maintain a good level of service for passengers who use this route while the new improved footbridge in Eridge will serve the local community for many years to come.”
Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said:
“On behalf of our customers, we welcome this major investment to maintain safe travel and a local landmark long into the future. While we are currently asking people to consider whether they really need to use the train, we thank those who do have to travel for their patience during this vital work.”
To ensure the safe and efficient running of the line at Oxted Viaduct, the railway will need to be closed on:
- Saturday 20th June and Sunday 21st June 2020
- Saturday 27th June and Sunday 28th June 2020
- Saturday 4th July and Sunday 5th July 2020
- Sunday 12th July 2020
The project at Eridge station will take place from now until the end of September while work at Oxted Viaduct is likely to run until at least February 2021.
Notes to Editors
Safety is our priority so at a local level, we are prioritising inspections and patrols, and the work that comes up as a result of those patrols. Where we have to renew track because it is life-expired (too old to continue), we are doing that too. As kit gets older, it needs more work to keep it going, which will be harder to achieve with COVID-19.
The Government has classed Network Rail as a critical service so our engineers and suppliers will still be working and travelling to work. However, we are looking after our people - we’ve hired extra vans so people can be socially distant, and we’re asking teams on site to keep their distance too. We’re also following rules on social isolation and home working where possible.
There are jobs where it is not possible to keep two metres distance and we are working with our teams to see if we can either stop those jobs or come up with ways to do those jobs safely (including minimising time and proximity).
The most important thing is that we keep the railway running for critical workers and that when this crisis is over, it’s in good shape to play a massive role in rebuilding our economy.
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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.