Passengers are thanked for their patience after a busy programme of improvement work took place across Sussex.

Network Rail staff have worked round the clock as part of our multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan. Passengers will benefit from a more reliable railway after the completion of upgrades across Sussex during the Christmas and New Year period.

The work in Sussex included partial replacement of Sanderstead Road railway bridge which involved transporting new bridge decks from Ireland, where they were fabricated. The bridge which sits below one of the country’s busiest stretches of railway, originally dates back to 1839. The wrought iron bridge decks were built in 1909 and needed a complete replacement.

Extensive preparation work was required to ensure this work was completed on time along with establishing a working area in the nearby South Croydon Recreation Ground where the new bridge decks were delivered and prepared. The existing bridge decks were then removed and replaced with the new concrete decks.

Fresh railway track has been laid to improve the reliability of the railway and a full month of work will also be dedicated to preparing and restoring the recreation ground before it reopens to the community by the end of March 2020.

This upgrade will extend the life of Sanderstead Road railway bridge along with preventing unplanned closures.

Network Rail’s route director for Sussex, Shaun King, said: “The hard work by our teams across Sussex will make a real difference to our passengers, especially those who use the Sanderstead Road railway bridge.

“I would like to thank passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience while we completed this essential work and can assure them that we will continue to invest in the railway and provide passengers with an ever-improving service.”

Over 2018/19, we also invested £67m to upgrade infrastructure and tackle delay hotspots as part of the Brighton Main Line Improvement Project, which is expected to reduce delays by up to 15%. We’re still investing heavily to continue improving services for passengers with the Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme (CARS), which will remove the most challenging bottleneck on Britain’s rail network, reducing delays and increasing capacity to meet future passenger demand.