The nine-day closure of lines through Hither Green to complete critical signalling upgrades and improve journeys for passengers through South East London is past its halfway point.
Network Rail is completely replacing the old and unreliable 1970s signalling on the lines through Hither Green with the new, equipment.
The work was planned over four days at Easter but because signalling technicians couldn’t work together in confined spaces, it’s going to take double the length of time to complete the job.
To make the most of the line closures, give passengers more benefits sooner and minimise future disruption, additional improvement work is taking place at closed station and on closed lines.
More details from Network Rail:
One of the biggest jobs when switching over to a new signalling system is taking out the old equipment before installing and switching on the new.
Here you see an old signal gantry which has been in place since at least the early 1970s being removed.
Below, engineers are installing new points (part of the signalling system); the motors which power the switches and allow trains to cross tracks. The new points will be linked to the new signalling system controlled from the Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre.
In this image you can see the new, modern gantry being fitted out with signals, cables and other equipment ready to signal passenger trains for the first time on Monday (after rigorous testing of course).
Work has been taking place 24hrs throughout the 9-day closure.
All new equipment needs to be tested and this usually involves lots of signalling technicians working in confined space for long periods. Because of Covid-19, staff can’t work together for long periods, so now one member of staff is doing one job at a time.
This means work normally done in four days is taking nine days.
Everything you see in the picture above controls something out on track, like a set of points, or signal here.
Signalling control of the area will move from the London Bridge Area Signalling Centre which opened in 1974, to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (TBROC).
The state-of-the-art technology at the TBROC will help signallers recover the service more quickly when an incident occurs.
To prevent future disruption to passengers and give them the benefits sooner, Network Rail and Southeastern do as much work as possible when the railway is closed.
We’re undertaking major canopy and platform work at Chislehurst and Hither Green while improvements are also taking space at #ElmsteadWoods, #GrovePark, #Mottingham, #New Eltham, #BromleyNorth, #SundridgePark and #Lee stations.
Platform resurfacing work in progress at Chislehurst station.
We know travelling during this time is tough enough so we’re really grateful to passengers for their patience and efforts to #TravelSafely.
As the sun shines, please enjoy an ice cream on @NetworkRailSE and @Se_Railway.
Our record investment to upgrade track, signalling, embankments, stations and depots to give passengers in Kent and South East London better journeys, with fewer delays continues over the next few years.
Network Rail on the Hither Green signalling upgrade.
Photo credit: Network Rail