Network Rail engineers successfully complete planned engineering upgrades across Kent and Sussex.
Over the festive period, Network Rail engineers worked around the clock to carry out reliability upgrades across the Kent and Sussex region, as part of a wider £127m programme of investment across the country.
Over the ten-day period, engineers worked to deliver a major package of investment, including track upgrades, signalling improvements as well as carrying out further work to install extra gatelines at London Victoria station which will provide passengers with less congested and smoother journeys through the station.
The track upgrades involved the rebuild of a major junction between Clapham and Wandsworth that controls the movement of Southeastern and London Overground services in the area. Engineers replaced 14 sets of switches and crossings – the moveable sections of track that guide trains from one side to another – with new, more reliable equipment, and laid more than 1,600m of new track, 1,000m of conductor rail, using 10,000 tonnes of ballast and installing 2,600 new sleepers.
Work to upgrade the 1980s signalling system between Herne Hill and Nunhead into London Victoria station also continued and will be ready to come into use around late December 2024.
At London Victoria station, engineers continued installing new ticket gates to reduce gateline crowding and speed up journeys. Passengers will see a phased introduction of the new ticket gates and the wider project will be completed by summer 2024.
Further work including installing additional blocks alongside the railway to strengthen the cutting and protect the railway from falling debris and landslips between Hurst Green and Uckfield.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s Southern regional managing director, said: “We’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out this programme of investment across South London and parts of Kent and Sussex over the festive period.
“We appreciate that there is never a good time to close the railway, but passenger numbers are a lot lower around the Christmas period which is why we try to pack as much work in as possible and reduce disruption.”
Image credit: Network Rail