PICTURES and VIDEO: New track comes into use after successful Network Rail Easter engineering investment in the South East: Working through sunset at London Bridge

Tuesday 18 Apr 2017

PICTURES and VIDEO: New track comes into use after successful Network Rail Easter engineering investment in the South East

South East

Passengers in the South East have been thanked for their patience after Network Rail engineers carried out a busy programme of improvements to the railway over the Easter weekend as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.

Network Rail and its contractors worked on projects across the region from London to the south coast, laying new track, installing new signalling, improving drainage, and making other improvements to make the railway more reliable.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said: “We know that there is no good time to close the railway for passengers and we really do appreciate how patient everyone was while were continuing our Railway Upgrade Plan this Easter.

“Having a full four days to carry out work gives us the chance to tackle big jobs that we simply can’t do over a normal weekend, and while there are fewer passengers travelling.

“The work we do over these bank holidays is absolutely crucial to improving the reliability of the railway and helps us carry more than 500m passengers every year.”

Notable work undertaken this Easter included:

  • New track through London Bridge brought into use, meaning Cannon Street trains are now running through what will be platforms 1 and 2 when the station opens in January 2018.
  • Sevenoaks Tunnel, which is two miles long and very, very wet, has had its drainage system improved.
  • Track ballast – the stones that support the tracks on a railway - has been replaced between Bognor Regis and Barnham, improving the ride for passengers and making the trains quieter for our neighbours.
  • Track in London Victoria station’s platforms 14 and 19 has been refurbished
  • A cutting in Maidstone continues to be repfrofiled and shored up
  • Maintenance work has taken place between Paddock Wood and Strood and Sittingbourne to Herne Bay and Dover.

Engineers are ready to go with their next programmes of work over the May Bank Holidays and Network Rail will be working with operators to make sure passengers are kept up to date with changes to train times.

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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 (South East route)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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