Track maintenance work, via Istock

South East London, Kent and Sussex to receive major infrastructure enhancements

Engineers from Network Rail will be enjoying the southern sunshine this August Bank Holiday, as they embark on a lengthy weekend of major engineering work in South London, Kent, and East Sussex.

This project comes as part of an ongoing £1.25bn maintenance scheme, with the ambitions to replace worn-out points and track across the lines at New Cross. These works will mean no trains to Charing Cross or Cannon Street on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August and a limited service from Hastings/Tonbridge to London Bridge will run on all three days. 

The points allow for trains to cross from one track to another, meaning that when they are weathered and haggard through years of wear and tear due to line usage, they can be a source of serious disruption. Network Rail’s replacement of these, will majorly upgrade the reliability of trains on the important route into London.

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

 “We know passengers often experience disruption on the busy route from Lewisham and New Cross into London and our work this weekend will be a really important part of our ongoing £1.25bn programme of improvements to the railway in the area.  

“It’s impossible to do this scale of work overnight as we’re digging up a huge junction where lines cross each other, which will take all three days, so I apologise if you were hoping to travel into Charing Cross this weekend. There will be other routes into central London open from Kent and the South East, via Blackfriars and Victoria, so do check before you travel and make sure you know your alternative journeys.”

Though the works at New Cross are the focal point of the project, a further initiative to install new signalling and control equipment will be conducted in South London. This will lead to no services across the railway around West Norwood, including Streatham, Peckham Rye, Herne Hill and Tulse Hill.

Further disruptions will come from a railway bridge replacement coming between Ashford and Hastings. This will see trains starting and terminating at Ore, and buses on the rest of the line, over all three days of the weekend.

Though these disruptions are not ideal for passengers seeking to travel throughout the weekend, they are necessary to complete these requisite upgrades that will improve journeys in the long run. Passengers should plan their journeys ahead of time to ensure their journeys face as few unexpected interruptions as possible.

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