Tunbridge Wells to Hastings Improvement Project

We have successfully completed the third and final series of major works on the line between Tunbridge Wells and Hastings to improve the reliability of the route by stabilising earthworks and replacing worn track.   

The line was built in the early 1850s and has suffered with reliability problems since it opened, notably around the earthworks – cuttings and embankments – which carry the line through the rolling countryside of Kent and East Sussex. 

What did we do?

During these works we : 

  • Stabilised cuttings and embankments at Wadhurst, Frant and Snape Wood to keep passengers safe from delays caused by landslips. 
  • At Wadhurst and Frant sections of reinforced concrete wall were built and dangerous vegetation was removed to stop trees and soil reaching the tracks.  
  • On sections of line near Snape Wood hundreds of 5m long soil nails were driven into the cutting to keep the slopes stable. 
  • In Mountfield tunnel near Robertsbridge 500m of track was replaced and sections of the track slab were rebuilt. The track slab acts as a track bed for the running rails, conductor rail and sleepers in the tunnel, as well as supporting the tunnel structure.  
  • Installed new track within Wadhurst Tunnel itself. In just over a week, we tore out and replaced 1,232 yards of track, in cramped, difficult conditions. New track means smoother, more reliable journeys for our passengers for years to come.  
  • The cuttings and embankments at Telham and Frant were strengthened to reduce the risk of landslips, whilst track was renewed at several other key points along the line.   

What are the benefits of these works?

These works will: 

  • Reduce the risks of delays caused by landslips 
  • Improve the reliability of the services using this line 
  • Provide smoother, more reliable journeys  

Contact us

Please follow our Twitter page feed for information about this work and future updates on our work across the Kent route.   

For more information or to get in touch with us, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.