Easter Bank Holiday engineering work is taking place on lines around Hither Green in South East London, to improve rail services in the region, meaning trains will be diverted or replaced by buses for four days. 

With the COVID-19 emergency, passengers are advised to only travel if absolutely necessary. However, bus replacement services for people who cannot work from home will run between Lewisham, Orpington, Bromley North and Sidcup from Friday 10 April, until Monday, 13 April, with trains running as normal on Tuesday.

Work being undertaken this Easter includes station improvement work, signalling resilience work in the Lewisham area and the installation of electrical safety equipment to improve the efficiency of our engineering work in the area.

Unfortunately, Network Rail and its partners have had to scale back part of Easter’s planned engineering to fit in with Public Health England advice in the light of the COVID-19 emergency.

Because staff cannot work closely together, many parts of the work to switch on new signalling would have taken up to double the length of time previously expected.

Network Rail’s route director for Kent, Fiona Taylor, said: ” We could not have completed the commissioning – switching on – of the new signalling system, in the time available, but we will use the four days to do as much work as possible to minimise future disruption to passengers.

“We are working with Southeastern and our suppliers to replan the commissioning as soon as we can, so that passengers can enjoy the benefits of the new signalling on top of the work we are still doing this weekend.

“We know for those who rely on the railway there is never a good time to close lines and encourage those who do need to travel to plan ahead. Thank you for your patience while we work to keep the country moving through this crisis.”

Southeastern Train Services Director, Scott Brightwell, said:  “During the current health crisis our staff have been working around the clock to ensure that vital train services keep running for essential travel, especially for people who cannot work from home, such as those in the NHS.

“Unfortunately, we need to reduce some services over Easter so that important improvement work can continue. We have made arrangements for tickets to be accepted via alternative routes and will provide buses between some stations. I hope that the amended timetable doesn’t cause too much disruption for those people that still do have to travel into work.”