Passengers in the south east are reminded to check before travelling by train this Easter as Network Rail is set to carry out a £10m programme of work to improve the region’s rail network.
Around 2,000 engineers will be working round the clock over the long weekend on a range of projects to boost reliability and safety on busy commuter routes. This includes replacing drainage and track in a tunnel near Sevenoaks, Kent, and bringing new signalling equipment – which controls the safe running of trains through Mitcham and Sutton into use and laying new track between New Cross and Norwood Junction.
As a result there will be some changes to Thameslink, Southern, London Overground and Southeastern services over the long weekend. The biggest impacts will be:
No Southern or London Overground trains between London Bridge and West Croydon via Crystal Palace all day Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday (30 March and 1 April), thanks to new track being laid between New Cross Gate and Norwood Junction. Thameslink’s Saturday service between London Bridge and Brighton will not run either.
Buses replace Southeastern trains between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks from Good Friday until the start of service on Tuesday. Trains between London Charing Cross and Hastings will divert via East Croydon. This is as a result of new track being laid in Sevenoaks Tunnel.
New signalling system being commissioned around the Sutton Loop and Mitcham Junction area, meaning no Southern trains between Streatham and Epsom and also between West Croydon and Sutton / Epsom Downs. Thameslink trains will run between Luton and London Blackfriars only. This project lasts from 23.00 on Thursday until the start of service on Tuesday April 3.
Network Rail’s South East route managing director, John Halsall, said: “I know passengers feel we are always working on the railway but the work we do really is essential, and Bank Holidays are simply the least-worst time to do it, when the fewest people are travelling on our trains.
“Our route is the busiest in the country and we carry 510m passengers every year. The only way we can keep doing that reliably and safely is by constantly improving and renewing the railway and we really appreciate passengers’ patience while we do it.
“Train operators will be running as many trains as they can but I would urge passengers to check before they travel as there will be some changes.”
Ellie Burrows, Southeastern’s Train Services Director, said: “Work to improve our railway continues this Easter bank holiday, and working together in partnership with Network Rail, we’re investing to deliver the essential maintenance that we need for a more reliable railway in London and the South East. I’d encourage all our passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel by following us on Twitter @SE_railway, or checking our On Track app or website for the latest information.”
Stuart Cheshire, Passenger Services Director at Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Thameslink and Southern, said: “Passengers need to plan ahead this Easter while Network Rail carries out this essential work. Visit our websites or nationalrailenquiries.com.”
Elsewhere in the London area, work will be taking place at:
Euston station will be partially closed. On Saturday 31 March and Monday 2 April a reduced service will be in place for London Northwestern Railway passengers. On Sunday 1 April passengers are advised to use the Jubilee line between London and Stanmore. There will be no train services out of Euston for Virgin Trains West Coast on Sunday 1 April
Crossrail East works continue in the Shenfield area disrupting travel in and out of Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern main line to Norwich
Services to London Waterloo and Windsor/Reading will be diverted between 30 March – 2 April
Crossrail West works continue impacting services in and out of London Paddington from 30 March – 2 April