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Passengers in South East London are reminded to plan their journeys ahead of a nine-day closure of the Bexleyheath line between Blackheath and Barnehurst from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 23 February 2020.
After four landslips in the last decade, Network Rail is closing the line over the half term as part of a major project to protect passengers from further disruption.
There will be no trains on the Bexleyheath line for nine days but Southeastern is running extra services and longer trains on the Woolwich and Sidcup lines. They are expected to be busier than usual and some services will run to a different timetable. The operator is advising passengers to avoid peak time travel if possible.
A replacement bus service will also be in place for Bexleyheath line passengers and tickets accepted on other reasonable routes, London Underground, the DLR and London Buses.
Bus replacement and alternative train times are now available and passengers can plan ahead at www.networkrail.co.uk/Bexleyheathline or direct with Southeastern.
Dan Athol, Programme Director, Network Rail, said: “The last landslip on the Bexleyheath line, in February last year, closed the line for seven days. We want to provide a safe, permanent solution to prevent further disruption to passengers. We’re also making the most of the closures by bringing forward more work to give passengers the benefits quicker and prevent future engineering closures.
“We know there is never a good time to close the railway and have been working hard with Southeastern colleagues to make people aware of the closure and alternative travel options.
“If you do need to travel, please don’t get caught out. You can now your journey at www.networkrail.co.uk/bexleyheathline.”
Southeastern Train Services Director, Scott Brightwell, said: “This is vital improvement work that needs to be done to help prevent future landslips but I do want to apologise to any of our passengers that are affected by the line closure.
“To get everyone where they need to be, we are putting on extra trains with more carriages on the alternative routes through Sidcup and Woolwich. The bus replacement services will run along the Bexleyheath line and also over to the alternative routes. Please check the Southeastern website for more information.”
During the closure, Network Rail and Southeastern are taking the opportunity to continue with a £700k station and track improvement programme.
The work includes:
- Deep cleaning of the stations, painting of booking halls and platform furniture, toilet facility improvements and clearing vegetation.
- Track maintenance to improve track quality and provide smoother rides from Blackheath Junction to Falconwood station.
- Refurbishment of Perry Street Fork Junction, where the Bexleyheath line meets the Greenwich line, to prevent faults and reduce delays.
- Signalling and power supply upgrades to reduce the risk of failures.