Rail passengers in Kent and South East London are advised to plan ahead for their travel around the Christmas and New Year period as work to advance the railway through Lewisham continues.
Network Rail will be upgrading two key railway junctions between St Johns and Lewisham from Christmas Day (Friday 25th of December) through to Tuesday 29th of December, and from New Year’s Day (Friday 1st January) to Sunday 3rd of January.
The work will see the replacement of 2.5km of track which will be laid on 7,500 tonnes of ballast and 1,460 sleepers.
A number of sets of switches, crossings, and points in the area will also be changed as part of an investment programme to replace ageing 1970s infrastructure with more dependable equipment.
During the work there will be some changes to services between Lewisham and Hayes, and between Lewisham and Orpington. There will also be changes to services on the Woolwich line from Dartford, along with diversions between London mainline stations.
To keep passengers moving when lines are closed tickets will be accepted via alternative TfL routes and replacement buses will be available.
These are key junctions for all services coming from the county of Kent to and from central London.
Fiona Taylor, Network Rail's Route Director for Kent, said: “Faults at these key junctions in the Lewisham area can cause disruption, which quickly sends ripples across the network. As a result of these works people travelling through South East London can expect to experience better journeys in the New Year.
“This multi-million-pound project is part of our South East Upgrade, a record £1.25bn investment to modernise this part of the network. The upgrades will keep passengers moving safely and reliably, future proofing the railway for the long-term.
“We know there is never a good time to carry out major works which cause service disruption. I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we make these vital improvements to our railway."
Southeastern Train Services Director, Scott Brightwell said: “It is going to be an unusual Christmas this year and we expect fewer people will be travelling for work, for shopping or to see family and friends.
"For those that still want to use the train we are alerting them now that there will be some changes to our timetable while improvement work continuous on the South East Upgrade.
"We are offering alternative services and replacement buses where necessary. Please check journey planners nearer the time if you do need to go to and from London over Christmas or New Year.”
Image: Network Rail