Track and signalling

05.11.18

Rail overhaul on Brighton Main Line to improve the chaotic route in £67m upgrade

Plans to overhaul the Brighton Main Line in a £67m upgrade to the line to tackle delay hotspots and improve reliability have been unveiled.

The Brighton Line, which has the worst punctuality of any major route, will undergo improvement works with initial work this month and a public consultation launched.

Network Rail engineers are carrying out the overhaul of the railway between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes, with the line closed across several days this November whilst engineers work in and around the tunnels at Balcombe and Clayton.

The work will include improving the track, signalling, and drainage to stop flooding inside Victorian tunnels on the line.

The track inside the Clayton Tunnel will be renewed, new signals installed between Patcham and Preston Park, and electrical circuits between Three Bridges and Balcombe will be replaced.

The work to the Brighton Main Line is a “key” part of a £300m government-funded programme to boost reliability in the south east, and the Thameslink network.

300,000 passengers regularly travel on the Brighton Line, which will close for several days in November, and then again in February 2019.

Trains to London from Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and Sussex have to squeeze through the lines at East Croydon, which regularly causes delays.

To solve this, Network Rail are adding new flyovers, underpasses and a bigger station at East Croydon to ease congestion.

Network Rail’s John Halsall said: “It's a bit like putting a roundabout in the busiest section of the M25 and then sticking a few traffic lights in for good measure.

“You can imagine the chaos that that causes. That's what passengers and trains face every day when they go through East Croydon and we want to fix that by putting flyovers in so that trains can go straight through unhindered.”

Image credit - Network Rail 

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