Track and signalling

20.05.20

Network Rail to complete critical signalling work on SE London lines

Railway lines through Hither Green in South East London are set to be closed for a nine-day period between July 25, 2020 and August 2, 2020 to allow Network Rail to complete critical signalling upgrades in the area.

The current signalling system from the 1970s, which controls the movement of trains on the Bromley North, Sidcup branches and main line through Hither Green, is set to be completely replaced by a modern, more reliable system.

Services will be suspended and replacement buses will be in operation, with additional measures taken to ensure those affected can still maintain social distancing measures while using the bus services.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail Route Director for Kent, said: “This work is so important for delivering a reliable railway for the many passengers who travel through this area. The signalling system is very old and in urgent need of upgrade.

We wanted to get this work done over Easter but because technicians can’t work closely together for long periods, it is going to take double the amount of time it would normally take to finish the job.

“We have taken the decision to complete the work in the summer holidays because we wanted to give those passengers who are still travelling, many of them critical workers, enough time to plan ahead. We also need time to put alternative travel options in place, such as an enhanced bus replacement service.

 “Our advice to passengers over the nine days remains the same - Please only travel if you really have to, leaving space on trains for those who really need it. We are working with Southeastern to make provision for social distancing at stations and on buses. I recognise that this is a tough ask for people who are already coping with changes to travel, but this vital upgrade will provide a more reliable and resilient railway for years to come.”

The signalling upgrades will see the transfer of control for the lines from London Bridge Area Signalling Centre to Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre. It will mark the end for the old signalling location, which has been in continuous use since 1975.

The work is a key part of a £250m investment by Network Rail to improve signalling and track reliability through the busy Lewisham area of South East London.

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