Sunday 27 Dec 2015
Railway between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central closed after damage to sea wall
The railway between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central in Kent is currently closed following severe damage to a sea wall at Dover.
High tides damaged the sea wall that supports the railway near Dover Harbour and cracks on the wall were discovered on Christmas Eve.
Since then, the wall has deteriorated further with severe damage to a number of sections and there are a number of sink holes two or three metres deep along the length of the wall.
Major work will need to be carried out to repair the track and the sea wall will also need to be rebuilt. Engineers are on site carrying out a full assessment of the damage – only once this is complete can an estimate be made about when the railway will reopen.
A bus replacement service will run the one stop between Dover Priory and Folkestone Central and will remain so while repairs to the line take place.
Some Southeastern high speed trains will be diverted to run between Ashford International and Ramsgate via Canterbury West and passengers travelling between Dover and London will be able to use trains to London Victoria via Canterbury East. In addition, a service will run each day between Dover Priory and Ramsgate calling at all stations - Martin Mill, Deal, Walmer and Sandwich.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We know how important the railway is for people in this area and our orange army is working round the clock to establish what action needs to be taken, though we know the damage to the sea wall supporting the railway is severe.
“Teams of engineers are on site and we will do everything we can to reopen this stretch of railway as quickly as possible.
“In the meantime, passengers should check with National Rail Enquiries or Southeastern for the latest information before travelling.”
A spokesman for Southeastern added: “Network Rail have encountered a great deal of damage and the repair works will take a significant amount of time.
"This will affect rail journeys between Folkestone Central and Dover Priory where a bus replacement service is in place. We would ask our passengers to please check their journey in advance on our website and to seek alternative routes on our network to avoid having to use the bus replacement service where possible."
The footbridge to the local beach has also been damaged by the sea and has been fenced off for repairs, which will also be carried out by Network Rail engineers.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.