Lewisham track renewal, via Network Rail

Lewisham upgrade works to force ten-day rail closure this Christmas

Passengers in South East London and Kent are being advised to brace for a ten-day period of disruptions due to engineers conducting a set of track upgrades at a busy railway junction in Lewisham.

This £10.5m improvement project is vital due to the importance of Lewisham junction, which sits on the busy approach to the station and is a key junction that controls the movement of more than a third of the Southeastern trains that that traverse in and out of London every day.

Between 24th December and Monday 2nd January 2023, Network Rail will have their teams working around the clock to replace eight sets of switches and crossings and the rails which allow trains to cross lines. Accompanying these replacements, engineers will be installing 710 metres of new rail, 6,000 tonnes of ballast and 1,000 metres of third rail, the electrified rail which powers trains, to improve reliability for passengers.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Kent route director, said:

“I’m really happy we’re able to invest £10.5 million to renew one of the busiest railway junctions in London.

“Passengers will be all too aware that Lewisham is such a busy and critical part of the railway with more than 800 trains passing through every day. So even a minor track or signalling fault can cause trains to quickly stack up behind each other, with disruption rippling across the railway.

“This junction renewal will replace fault prone 1960s and 70s kit which will allow more trains to run through to London, meaning a better service for passengers with fewer delays.”

Due to this vital track work, there will be no trains running through Lewisham, St Johns, New Cross or the Bexleyheath Line for the duration of the works. Whilst the majority of the railway still remains open, journeys into London Bridge may be rerouted or retimed.

Scott Brightwell, Southeastern’s operations and safety director, said:

“We’re sorry about the inconvenience this line closure will cause our customers over Christmas, but it is essential improvement work that needs to be done on a very busy part of our network.

“We’re running a replacement bus service along the affected line and our other London routes will be open as normal. Please check journey planners before you travel.”

A replacement bus service will run from Dartford and New Cross via Bexleyheath and Lewisham.

Preparatory and follow up work will take place on the following dates:

  • Sunday 27 November
  • Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December
  • Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 January 2023

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