Network Rail engineers to continue Tonbridge track upgrade over Easter and May bank holidays – please check before you travel in Kent: Lewisham Still

Wednesday 6 Apr 2022

Network Rail engineers to continue Tonbridge track upgrade over Easter and May bank holidays – please check before you travel in Kent

Region & Route:
Southern: Kent

While most people will be unwrapping Easter eggs, Network Rail engineers will be laying track this as a project to renew the railway around Tonbridge continues.

The project will see the railway junction just east of Tonbridge station, where lines to Hastings diverge from the Kent main line, completely replaced new track and equipment, to improve reliability.

This work is set to continue during the Easter weekend and beyond, with some important dates and changes for passengers to have in their diaries (see notes to editors). Work on the line began in January and will complete at the end of May.

Fiona Taylor, managing director for Network Rail Kent, said: “It’s never an easy decision to close a railway for engineering work at Easter, especially a route to the coast, but the junction at Tonbridge is getting to the stage where the right thing to do is replace it completely. That takes time and by closing the line for these weekends we’ll get the job done by the time summer arrives.

“I’m really grateful to passengers for their patience with us while we do the work – not just at Tonbridge but across the railway. If you’re travelling this Easter weekend, do check journey planners before you go as there may be changes to your trip.”

Scott Brightwell, Operations and Safety Director for Southeastern, said: “There’s never a good time to undertake engineering on the railway but this work across the Tonbridge area is essential to ensure that passengers have reliable and safe journeys.

“We’d strongly advise our passengers to check before they travel over the weekends when Network Rail are carrying out this work.”

The railway junction consists of a series of movable track sections called points, or switches and crossings, that allow trains from Hastings to join tracks to Ashford and London. Last rebuilt in the 1980s, the junction is showing its age and requires extra maintenance to keep it running reliably.

New track, points and the machines to operate them will be installed in the next two months to leave a much more reliable and efficient railway for passengers.

Notes to Editors

  • Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 April, replacement buses between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood/Tunbridge Wells.
  • Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May (May bank holiday), replacement bus service between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood & between Tonbridge and Wadhurst.
  • Sunday 8 May, replacement bus service between Sevenoaks and Paddock Wood & between Sevenoaks and Wadhurst.
  • Saturday 21 May to Sunday 22 May, replacement bus service between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood & between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.
  • Saturday 28 May to Sunday 29 May, replacement bus service between Tonbridge and Paddock Wood & between Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - Chris Denham
Media relations manager (Kent)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530
chris.denham@networkrail.co.uk

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