Passenger advice campaign steps-up for Brighton Main Line improvements with station-by-station guide to closures: Early Morning Leafleting at Balcombe - 1

Tuesday 27 Nov 2018

Passenger advice campaign steps-up for Brighton Main Line improvements with station-by-station guide to closures

South East
  • £67million upgrade sees major work taking place to improve one of South East's least the reliable lines 
  • New travel advice website to provide station-specific information to travellers on closures
  • Passenger information sessions at two dozen stations over next month

A passenger awareness campaign is being stepped ahead of the closure of the Brighton Main Line for improvements during February half-term next year.

Network Rail is carrying out the biggest refurbishment of the line between Three Bridges and Brighton in more than 30 years with engineers working to improve track, signalling and drainage on the route which has become one of the least reliable in southern England.  The £67 million upgrade includes extensive work in three of the line's Victorian tunnels to reduce leaking which has caused significant delays for passengers in the past.   

The work has required several line closures to the line south of Three Bridges with further closures to come on Sunday 6 January, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 February, and for 9 days from Saturday 16 to Sunday 24 February.

Network Rail, Gatwick Express, Southern Rail and Thameslink are now launching a new travel advice website to provide station-specific information to travellers, and railway staff will be talking to passengers at two dozen stations over coming weeks to help passengers learn about the upcoming closures so that they can plan ahead.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail’s director of south east route investment, said: "We are reaching out to passengers with our train operator partners to make sure they are informed about the upcoming Brighton Main Line closures.

"By closing the line for one week in February we will be able carry out a huge amount of work simply not possible in more limited weekend closures, turning the Brighton Main Line from one of the least to most reliable routes on our network. 

"I'd encourage passengers to take every opportunity to plan for their journey to make sure they can get to their destinations on time or make alternative arrangements."

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s infrastructure director, said: "We've been pulling out all the stops to make sure passengers have been informed about the closures on the Brighton Main Line so far but now we really need to reach those passengers likely to travel during February half term.

“This work will be very disruptive and journeys will take longer.  Passengers should log on to for the most advanced information on how the closure will affect them and talk to our special closure awareness station staff at the sessions that have been arranged over the next couple of weeks."

Work to improve the line has already taken place over 9 weekends and has included the renewal over 5 miles of conductor rail, nearly a mile of track and 30 signals together with the replacement of thousands of tonnes of ballast.

Once the work is complete it will reduce the number of delays by up to 15% for passengers travelling between London and the south coast which is currently the line responsible for more delays than any other on the Thameslink and Southern network.

The works to improve the line are being delivered using funding from the £300 million Thameslink Resilience Programme which will see further improvements across the South East network and has already included the refurbishment of the Sevenoaks tunnel in Kent.

The travel advice website can be found at

Contact information

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

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Scott Wilson
Media Manager - Thameslink
Network Rail
07734 650735

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