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Improvements for passengers across South London, Surrey, Sussex and Kent over the August Bank Holiday

Network Rail engineers worked tirelessly over the August Bank Holiday to deliver vital rail upgrades for passengers across the company’s Southern Region.

Supported by a large fleet of engineering trains, road-rail vehicles and specialist machinery, teams completed essential upgrades to track, signals and bridges.

This programme of work across the region’s Kent, Sussex and Wessex routes will deliver a more reliable and safer railway with improved facilities for passengers and for freight services.


John Halsall, managing director for Network Rail Southern region, said: “I would like to thank all of our staff who worked tirelessly over the August bank holiday and made sure the work was completed on time, so lines were ready for passengers who needed to travel this morning.

“We need to continue with these upgrades as they are critical to keeping people and freight supplies moving. I would like to encourage passengers to return to the railway so they can benefit from our improvements, and when they do, please can you wear a face covering and maintain a distance when travelling.”

The work carried out between Friday 28 August and Tuesday 1 September included:

South West London, Surrey and Sussex

  • Track renewals for smoother and more reliable journeys on the Oxted Viaduct which is between South Croydon and East Grinstead
  • Replaced sets of points (the moveable sections of railway which allow trains to switch track) for more reliable journeys at Whitton Junction which is between Twickenham and Feltham
  • Work continued to connect SWR’s £60 million rail depot to the mainline
  • Track maintenance in the Leatherhead area to improve reliability, and preparation for forthcoming bridge strengthening work
  • The footbridge at Ashford station in Surrey was replaced
  • Drainage work in the Crawley area to improve reliability of the railway as it affects the stability of the track and also the effectiveness of the track-based signalling equipment, such as track circuits (that tell us where trains are)

South East London and Kent

  • A Victorian-era bridge which was originally built 1890 at Catford, South East London was replaced
  • At Crayford junction, where trains switch track for the Bexleyheath or North Kent lines, ballast, track, points, switches and crossings (the moveable sections of railway which allow trains to switch track) was replaced with brand new equipment.
  • On the Catford Loop, between Nunhead and Crofton Park, the Victorian era embankment was strengthened with soil nails and a 300m pile wall. The work will remove the risk of delays to trains caused by precautionary speed restrictions.
  • New track and conductor rail was laid between Ravensbourne and Beckenham to make the journeys smoother and more reliable

Photo credit: Network Rail

For today’s rail news from click here.

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