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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Repairs planned to stabilise a railway cutting in Hove means some changes to train services in September

Vital work to stabilise a railway cutting in Hove and prevent delays caused by landslips will be taking place between Saturday 18 September 2021 and Friday 1 October 2021 (inclusive). While this work takes place, no trains can run on the route directly linking Brighton with Hove.

On Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September, buses will replace trains between Brighton and Littlehampton.

From Monday 20 September, train times will change between Littlehampton and Brighton, with services diverted to run to and from Preston Park, where passengers will need to change trains to complete their journeys. Passengers travelling between Portsmouth or Southampton and Worthing, Hove or Brighton will also need to change at Littlehampton.

Additionally, Great Western Railway services to and from Brighton will start and end at Worthing on weekdays, and Portsmouth Harbour on weekends.

In order to stabilise the cutting and protect the railway from rockfall, engineers will be installing 1,012 rock bolts into the ground during the blockade. These bolts will hold rock netting in place that will catch loose rocks, and in the areas where required, hold the ground together. We are working with the local community to look at replanting options to offset the vegetation removed by the works.

Over the weekend of 18/19 September, engineers will also conduct the following work:

  • Repair work at Wilbury Road Bridge to strengthen the structure
  • Track circuit upgrades between Brighton and Hove – this is equipment which tells the signalling system and signallers where trains are
  • Wheel timber renewals at Shoreham Viaduct to improve the reliability of train services

Shaun King, Sussex route director for Network Rail, said:

“The work we’re doing is absolutely vital to keeping trains running safely and reliably for passengers. Hove is a key location on our railway network and any disruption here has the potential to disrupt services across the Brighton Main Line.

“We will continue to engage with passengers and lineside neighbours and thank them for their patience while we carry out this work.”

Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said:

“While we know there will be inconvenience for some of our customers, this is really essential safety work. Therefore, we’re urging anyone travelling along the West Sussex coast in this 14-day period to plan ahead and check before they travel as there will be changes to services, and some journeys will take longer than usual. Online journey planners will be updated in the next few weeks. We thank all of our customers in advance for their understanding.”

Network Rail, in partnership with Southern and Great Western Railway, has launched a passenger communications campaign targeting all travellers affected by the planned closures. 

The campaign will aim to ensure that commuters, business and leisure travellers are fully aware of the closures, the impact on their journey and what alternative travel options are available to them.

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