Work taking place on Brighton Main Line

Engineers tackle recent storms to deliver Brighton Main Line upgrade

The Brighton Main Line has reopened after engineers worked through both Storms Eunice and Franklin to deliver a £15m upgrade.

The work took place during the recent Storms in which passengers were encouraged not to travel as the weather caused major disruption.

Engineers battled the weather to deliver the £15m investment across 30 worksites improving journeys for passengers on the Brighton Main Line.

Network Rail spoke on the challenges that the extreme weather brought to the engineers working on the project.

Katie Frost, Network Rail’s Route Director for Sussex said: “Dealing with the worst storms we’ve seen in years was a massive challenge.

“Our teams battled through and worked more than 35,000 hours to deliver £15 million of investment.

“We are really grateful to people who had to manage longer journeys… and also our railway neighbours who have experienced nine days of major engineering work.

“This work will deliver vital safety and reliability benefits for passengers on what is among the UK’s busiest and most congested routes.

“By using an extended closure to do work, we have avoided the alternative of 20 weekends of disruption on the Brighton Main Line.”

Network Rail worked with Southern and Thameslink to put an enhanced bus replacement service in place whilst the line was closed.

Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern commented on the importance of the work that took place on the Brighton Main Line.

Mr Fowler said: “Network Rail have completed an enormous amount of work that will improve service reliability for our customers across the region, well into the future.

“With the lines reopened we have already been able to resume direct services between Brighton and London Victoria.

“Roughly 50,000 journeys were completed by bus, and 100 extra customer services staff have helped to make those journeys as smooth as possible.

“We’re very grateful to all our customers for your patience, whether you travelled with us or made other arrangements.”

Extreme weather events like the recent storms will continue to pose a threat to the railways as climate change brings more extreme weather.

Dr John Beckford and Dr Brian Haddock recently produced a paper looking into the ways the country’s rail network can be future proofed against extreme weather.

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