Rail passengers in south London and the south-east, after having had direct journeys into Victoria closed off during December and January, now face nine days later this month when routes to the south of the Brighton Main Line are shut for engineering works.
The first line closures will take place this weekend, February 5-6, between Purley and Gatwick Airport, as part of the redevelopment of the airport’s station.
The railway between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes will close from Saturday February 19 to Sunday February 27. Network Rail is promising that the £15million upgrade will tackle delays for Southern and Thameslink passengers.
During the closures, there will be fewer trains between Gatwick Airport, East Croydon and London, Brighton and Redhill, and a replacement bus service will run between Three Bridges and East Grinstead.
- No trains will run between Three Bridges and Brighton or Lewes
- Main line services will start and terminate at Three Bridges, with rail replacement buses
- Just two trains per hour will run between London Victoria, East Croydon and Brighton via Gatwick Airport, Horsham and Littlehampton, but “will take significantly longer”.
- The Saturday service between London and Horsham via Dorking will not run.
The upgrade also means the lines from Three Bridges to Brighton and Lewes will be closed on the weekends of February 12-13, March 5-6 and April 3 for preparation and follow-up works.
A Network Rail spokesperson said, “Doing the work in a longer nine-day closure means we can get more work done, more quickly, avoiding 20 separate weekend, evening and bank holiday closures which would be even more disruptive.”
Network Rail say that the line is one of the busiest in the country, using some of the oldest infrastructure. Engineers will be rebuilding a junction, laying new track and shoring up embankments to reduce the risk of landslips.
The £150million rebuild of Gatwick Airport Station, planned to finish by 2020, is now scheduled to complete in September 2023.
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