Work on major £160m upgrade continues over Christmas, to deliver improved reliability for passengers on busy Victoria-Croydon line through South London: Balham - resignalling 2

Tuesday 21 Dec 2021

Work on major £160m upgrade continues over Christmas, to deliver improved reliability for passengers on busy Victoria-Croydon line through South London

Region & Route:
Southern: Sussex
| Southern

While families are unwrapping presents Network Rail engineers will be wrapping up warm and working through the entire festive period to bring greater reliability to passengers on the busy London Victoria to East Croydon route.

An ongoing £160m project to replace worn-out 1970s signalling on the lines from London Victoria as far as Balham and Streatham Hill will see over 90 new signals erected, new points put in place, new train detection equipment installed along with upgrade power supplies and control moved to a state-of-the art control centre at Three Bridges.

A major part of that work will take place from Saturday 25 December to Monday 3 January 2022, when no trains will run between East Croydon and London Victoria, with most trains diverted to London Bridge.

Katie Frost, Sussex route Director, Network Rail, said:  “Nine days is a long time to close a main line railway and I know that a lot of people will be asking why we’ve got to do this now. The truth is that with fewer people travelling during the festive period this is still the best way for us to do large-scale improvements and if we had to do this work at weekends, we would be closing the railway far more often and disrupting far more people.

“So I’d like to thank our passengers and neighbours for their patience with us, and urge people who are travelling over the festive season to plan their journeys before they leave.

“This project will have a huge impact on the reliability of the railway for years to come and it will be worth the wait.”

Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said: “These engineering programmes are essential to give our customers the reliable, on-time services they rightly expect. We’re working closely with Network Rail and other transport partners to ensure our customers can get where they need to be when services are affected. Some journeys will take considerably longer than normal, so please check routes and times in advance.”

Over the 9-day closure, Pouparts Junction, an important stretch of railway near Battersea, will be completely rebuilt and signal gantries to house the signalling equipment, cables routes and power supply points will be installed along the lines from Balham to London Victoria.

By doing the work in a week-long chunks called “blockades” Network Rail can avoid the alternative of a long series of weekend or bank holiday closures over a number of years

Notes to Editors

Most trains will be diverted to London Bridge, and limited rail replacement bus services will run between East Croydon or Balham and Clapham Junction for local journeys.

To help you with your journey, tickets will be accepted on the following routes:

  • South Western Railway between Clapham Junction / Vauxhall and London Waterloo London
  • Buses between: London Victoria and Clapham Junction Balham and Streatham Hill
  • Tube services between: London Victoria and Balham / Clapham Junction / Vauxhall / London Bridge / Euston London Bridge and Canada Water
  • London Overground between Canada Water and Clapham Junction / Crystal Palace / West Croydon and between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction via Willesden Junction
  • London Northwestern Railway between London Euston and Watford Junction / Milton Keynes Central.

Please follow the latest Government advice and always check every journey before you travel at National Rail or the Southern Railway website.

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 (Kent)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

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