Anyone who has ever taken a train to or from East Croydon must have experienced it.
The London-bound train they have just boarded pulls away from the station, only to slow to a stop for no apparent reason. Or you’ll be close to your destination, and then the train slows to a halt, held at a red light.
Click here, though, for a fascinating piece of time-lapse video, which helps to demonstrate the impact of the Croydon Bottleneck, as 39 trains are halted in a two-hour period.
Network Rail today begins a six-week consultation.
Increasing the number of platforms at East Croydon from six to eight, adding two extra tracks and replacing five junctions with flyovers and dive-unders are part of a grand plan to reduce delays on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services between London, Surrey and the south coast.
The Croydon Bottleneck is blamed for exacerbating delays when problems happen elsewhere on the network.
“Removing the Croydon bottleneck is the only practical way to provide the step-change in reliability and capacity that passengers and businesses so desperately want to see,” said John Halsall, Network Rail’s route managing director for the south-east.
“For too long, train performance on the Brighton Main Line has been below the level that commuters and other passengers expect and deserve. While a number of factors have contributed to these issues in recent years, the basic layout of our railway through the Croydon area and the bottleneck it creates means reliability won’t ever improve to acceptable levels without significant changes.”
An online questionnaire is now available for people to have their say on the proposals, and beginning today, Network Rail are staging a series of public events.
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