Monday 6 Jul 2020
Nine-day line closures in South East London – have you planned ahead?
The Sidcup, Grove Park and Bromley North lines through Hither Green will be closed for nine days from Saturday 25 July to Sunday 2 August 2020, while Network Rail completes critical signalling upgrades to improve reliability for passengers in South East London.
Buses will replace trains between Lewisham, Sidcup and Orpington, while trains on other routes will be retimed or diverted. Detailed station by station travel advice is now available at networkrail.co.uk/HitherGreen.
People are advised to use alternative travel if possible over the nine days. Passengers who need to travel by train or replacement bus are advised to plan ahead; travel outside of peak times, allow more time for their journey and follow the government’s latest coronavirus travel advice.
Fiona Taylor, route director, Kent said:
“We know this is a tough ask of passengers who are already managing changes to their journeys and we haven’t taken the decision to close the lines lightly.
“The current signalling system, which controls the movement of trains on the lines through Hither Green, has been in place since the 1970s. It's old, unreliable, and becoming more difficult to source spare parts and maintain.
“If we don't upgrade now, it could lead to major delays and crowding for Southeastern passengers in future. That's a risk we weren’t prepared to take.
“We are extremely grateful to people for their patience in these difficult times. When this vital upgrade is complete, it will provide a more reliable and resilient railway for passengers in South East London for decades to come.”
Southeastern train services director, Scott Brightwell said:
“The equipment in this area is old and unreliable with some dating from the 1970’s; installing a modern signalling system is essential for improving journeys for our passengers. To aid those planning journeys throughout the works, we are providing a detailed station by station travel advice tool.
"We strongly advise customers to check this in advance as journeys on some routes are replaced with buses. Where buses replace trains, we expect journey times to be extended with queuing systems at busier times of day.“
Summary of travel advice
- Buses will replace trains between Lewisham and both Sidcup and Orpington
- Sidcup services will run east and into Central London via the Bexleyheath and Woolwich lines
- Shuttle buses will run between New Eltham, Mottingham and Eltham, and between Elmstead Woods and Eltham, for services to London
- Buses will replace trains on the Bromley North branch
- Services from Petts Wood and Orpington will run to Victoria, Blackfriars or London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross (running non-stop via New Beckenham)
- Tickets will be accepted on alternative routes
- All Southeastern car parks will be available to season ticket holders who usually travel from a closed station (subject to capacity)
Plan your journey at networkrail.co.uk/HitherGreen.
Notes to Editors
South East Upgrade - www.networkrail.co.uk/SouthEastUpgrade
A record £1.25bn investment to upgrade track, signalling, embankments, stations and depots to give passengers in Kent and South East London better journeys, with fewer delays.
A quarter of a billion pounds to improve Lewisham station and the track and signalling through the area, as well as another billion-pound investment to upgrade the network in Kent and South East London.
The funding will tackle decades of under investment in the Kent network, replacing ageing equipment with new and more reliable technology to support improving train performance and keeping people moving for decades to come.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
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.