Wednesday 30 Dec 2020
VIDEO: Neighbours and passengers thanked for their patience as first part of Christmas Lewisham engineering work completed
The first part of a crucial improvement to one of South East London’s busiest railways has completed in the heart of Lewisham, with a further three-day project about to get underway.
A junction crossing all four lines from Hither Green into the heart of London was renewed between Christmas Day and Tuesday, 29 December, to improve the reliability of trains in the area. The work involved replacing four sets of points and two diamond crossings, which allow trains to move from one track to another.
Our project manager James Pearce explained more when we met him on Boxing Day:
The lines through Lewisham and St John’s are some of the most heavily-congested in the country, used by services from both the London suburbs and the Kent coast, and are in need of improvement. A second, three-day project gets underway on New Year’s Day and will see a junction renewed nearer St John’s, where lines from Lewisham join the main route into town.
Overall, the Lewisham upgrade will see the replacement of nearly two miles of track which will be laid on 7,500 tonnes of ballast and 1,460 sleepers. A number of sets of points (which help trains cross from one track to another) will also be renewed as part of an investment programme to replace ageing 1970s infrastructure with more reliable equipment.
The final project will see no trains between Lewisham and Hayes and there will also be changes to some services between Cannon Street and Lewisham, and via Greenwich to Dartford.
To keep essential workers moving when lines are closed replacement buses are in operation and tickets will be accepted via alternative TfL routes. Passengers should also wash their hands often and wear face-coverings, unless exempt.
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail's route director for Kent, said: “Our works at Lewisham are particularly key being on the main artery from Kent to London for hundreds of services a day. If you are an essential worker and plan to travel over the New Year weekend, consistent with the Government’s advice, please check your journeys.
“We know there is never a good time to carry out major works, so I would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience while we make these vital improvements to the railway."
Scott Brightwell, Southeastern train services director, said: "Over Christmas and early January there are going to be some changes to our services while Network Rail carry out vital improvements at two of our busiest junctions near Lewisham. This will help improve reliability and reduce delays for our passengers.”
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 (Kent)
020 3357 7969
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.