Network Rail announces nine-day closure of Brighton Main Line between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes, in Sussex, for major engineering work: Brighton Mainline Upgrade Ouse Valley Oct 10  (65)

Monday 4 Oct 2021

Network Rail announces nine-day closure of Brighton Main Line between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes, in Sussex, for major engineering work

Region & Route:
Southern: Sussex
| Southern

Network Rail engineers will use a nine-day closure of the Brighton Main Line in February next year, to deliver an £11m junction renewal near Haywards Heath and build a new underpass at Hassocks.

As a result of the work, the railway between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes will close for 9 days from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 February 2022, with supporting weekend work taking place before and after the main closure. The announcement follows a fortnight’s closure of the line between Hove and Brighton, which was completed on time on Friday last week.

Katie Frost, Sussex route director for Network Rail, said: “I really appreciate the patience of our passengers as I know it feels like we’re constantly working on the railway, but by concentrating work into week or two-week blocks like this, we’re able to get more work done and reduce the number of weekends we’d have to close the railway. 

“The Brighton Main Line is Sussex’s major railway artery and is used by hundreds of trains a day travelling to destinations across the South of England.  By completing the critical work at Hove and planning this next major project, we are protecting the railway for the future and helping the country and the railway build back better from the pandemic. The alternative would have been up to 20 weekend closures or multiple bank holiday closures over two years, which would be unacceptable to our neighbours, passengers and stakeholders.

“We are working hard alongside our train operators to plan alternatives for passengers and keep them informed of the changes to services when work is taking place.”

Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said: “This route is one of the country’s busiest, and Network Rail’s major investment is essential to give our customers the reliable, on-time services they rightly expect. We’ll ensure that alternative transport is in place when lines are closed, and we’ll issue detailed travel advice over the coming months. Journeys will take considerably longer during the nine-day and weekend closures, and we thank customers in advance for their patience.”

Network Rail will use the time when lines are closed next February to rebuild Copyhold Junction with new track and points (near Haywards Heath), and replace track at Burgess Hill. In addition,  Woodside level crossing near Hassocks will be replaced with an underpass.

Woodside crossing  recently closed after a number of near-misses and evidence of people running unacceptable risks. The new underpass will provide a safe route under the tracks for people, without the risk of crossing the operational railway.

The work being delivered at Copyhold Junction and Burgess Hill includes:

  • Over 7,000 tonnes of ballast – the stones beneath the track that give support
  • Replacing over 1,000 metres of track.
  • Renewing eight sets of points – these are the mechanical systems that move the switches and crossings that guide trains from one track to another.
  • 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.
  • This major project will deliver long-term reliability improvements for passengers who use the line.

Notes to Editors

The work means lines will be closed between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes on the weekends of 15/16 January, 12/13 February, 5/6 March and 3 April as well as the 9-day closure in February.

Passengers are also advised of planned maintenance closures between Three Bridges and Brighton/Lewes on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October, and on Saturday 13 November, which will also impact Brighton Main Line services. Diversions and replacement buses will be in place.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Chris Denham
Media relations manager (Kent)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

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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