Monday 20 Nov 2023
Signalling upgrades to impact services in South London during February half term
Rail passengers in South London are being advised to plan ahead as Network Rail completes a major signalling upgrade in February 2024.
The work will mean that no trains will run on parts of the National Rail and London Overground networks for up to nine days from Saturday 10 February to Sunday 18 February (half-term week).
The upgrades taking place between Crystal Palace, Tulse Hill and Peckham Rye are part of a more than £400 million programme of investment in track and signalling upgrades that Network Rail is delivering in South London. The work will see the old and unreliable 1980s signalling equipment replaced with the latest technology to improve journeys for passengers, and track upgrades at key locations on the network.
During a seven-day closure from Saturday 10 to Friday 16 February, Thameslink passengers travelling between Herne Hill, Wimbledon and Sutton are being advised to use London Buses or alternative National Rail, London Trams or London Underground routes.
Southern passengers travelling between London Bridge and Streatham or Streatham Hill will be able to use alternative routes on London Buses and a limited replacement bus service will also run. Passengers on the West Norwood and Crystal Palace to Norwood Junction or Beckenham Hill sections will be able to use alternative London Buses, London Trams and London Overground routes.
London Overground services between Canada Water and Clapham Junction are also suspended from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February to allow the improvement works to take place. A rail replacement bus service will operate to help passengers to complete their journeys during this closure.
Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s Sussex route director, said: “Signalling upgrades between East Croydon and London Victoria, delivered last Christmas, have seen delays cut by more than half which really goes to show how vital it is that we continue to invest in to modernise our assets and give passengers the delay free journeys they expect from us.
“We are expecting this phase of signalling upgrades in the Crystal Palace, Tulse Hill and Peckham Rye areas to deliver a similarly impressive reduction in delays when it comes into use in February.
“We know the work means up to nine days of major changes to journeys for passengers and we are sorry for the disruption. While there is never a good time to close the railway, the half term is significantly quieter, and by the doing the work on consecutive days we can minimise the overall impact on passengers.
“So please plan ahead, look out for further updates and follow the travel advice.”
Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “While this major investment in modern signalling is inevitably disruptive, earlier phases of the programme have already brought huge reductions in delays for our customers on other South London routes. We’ll be making details of recommended alternative routes available over the coming months, and I thank passengers in advance for their patience while the work is under way next February.”
Rory O’Neill, TfL’s General Manager for London Overground, said: “I appreciate closures of the railway are never easy for our customers but this continued investment in infrastructure by Network Rail will help ensure we can continue to operate a safe and reliable service for many years to come. We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place and ask them to check before they travel and allow extra time for their journeys.”
There will also be some weekend closures in the same area before and after the February half-term closure. These are needed to allow engineers to get the new signalling system ready and then to remove redundant equipment that is no longer required.
The switch-on of the new signalling is the culmination of three years of work. Network Rail have installed 65 new signals, new signal gantries, two new power supply points and hundreds of kilometres of signalling, telecoms and power supply cables.
Signalling control of the Crystal Palace, Peckham Rye and Tulse Hill areas will move from the Victoria Area Signalling Centre to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre from 16 February.
The following stations will have no Southern trains for seven days between Saturday 10 to Friday 16 February:
- South Bermondsey
- Queens Road Peckham
- Peckham Rye
- East Dulwich
- North Dulwich
- Tulse Hill
- West Norwood
- Gipsy Hill
- Crystal Palace
- Forest Hill
- Honor Oak Park
- New Cross Gate
- Beckenham Junction
The following stations will have no Thameslink trains for seven days between Saturday 10 to Friday 16 February:
- Tulse Hill
- Mitcham Eastfields
- Mitcham Junction
- West Sutton
- Sutton Common
- St Helier
- Morden South
- South Merton
- Wimbledon Chase
- Haydens Road
The following stations will have no London Overground train service for nine days between Saturday 10 and Sunday 18 February:
- Queens Road Peckham
- Peckham Rye
- Denmark Hill
- Clapham High Street
- Wandsworth Road
Passengers / community members
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Senior Communications Manager - Southern
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.