Rail passengers travelling via Lewes are advised to check before they travel this weekend, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, January 2019, as Network Rail continues work on a major upgrade of the Seaford line.

Network Rail engineers will be working to renew switches and crossings, the equipment which allows trains to switch from one track to another, at the busy Southerham junction south of Lewes station. Work to replace the old signalling equipment between Lewes and Seaford with modern, more reliable technology to help improve journeys for passengers will also continue over the weekend.  

On both Saturday 19 and Sunday 20, buses will replace trains between Haywards Heath and Lewes, Lewes and Seaford and Lewes and Polegate. Services between Brighton and London will run as normal but there will be no trains west of Eastbourne via Lewes. Services between Lewes and Brighton will run as normal over the weekend but not between 00:35 to 10:00 Sunday 20 January.

Paul Harwood, director of investment South East, Network Rail, said: “Our work to upgrade the Seaford line will bring it up to modern standards, secures its long-term future and will provide passengers with more reliable journeys. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience and remind them to check before travelling this weekend”.

Keith Jipps, Infrastructure Director for Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “This major investment by Network Rail to improve the reliability of signalling and, therefore, our services is to be welcomed, however passengers on our east coast route should allow extra time to travel this coming weekend”.

When the new equipment is brought into use the signal boxes at Lewes, Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour will close and control of the signalling in the area transferred to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art route operating centre at Three Bridges

Additional improvements to the infrastructure will allow triple the number of trains to use the diversionary route for Haywards Heath / London to Brighton service via Lewes, helping to move more passengers in times of planned and unplanned disruption.

The the railway sidings at Newhaven Marine will also be upgraded to support a freight connection in the future, helping to take hundreds of heavy good vehicles off local roads.