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We've invested £22m to improve track and signalling, stabilise earthworks and refurbish stations and structures along the Arun Valley Line to give passengers better, more reliable journeys.

Aerial view of engineers rebuilding the railway junction at Horsham
Rebuilding the railway junction at Horsham and installation of a new crossover at Horsham station

As part of a £22m investment on the Arun Valley Line, we worked on more than 40 miles of railway for nine days, from Saturday 14 August until Sunday 22 August, for a mixture of upgrades and maintenance across 120 different sites.  

Network Rail engineers used the time to replace 1980s track and infrastructure with new, more reliable equipment, stabilise railway embankments and complete essential maintenance of stations along the Arun Valley line. 

On the affected dates buses replaced trains from Arundel (inclusive) to Three Bridges including Horsham and Crawley, and the Mole Valley line between Horsham and Dorking. 

During the line closure, the following work was successfully delivered:  

  • Rebuilding the railway junction at Horsham and installation of a new crossover at Horsham station. A section of rail, sleepers, ballast and drainage was renewed at Horsham station including nine sets of switches and crossings, which allow trains to cross from one track to another, were replaced. 
  • Track improvement work and track renewed at Barns Green, North Stoke, Pulborough, and Warnham  
  • In depth inspection and maintenance work was carried out across 43 miles of closed track during the 9-day line closure 
  • Track circuits (the part of the signalling system that detects trains) were replaced along the Arun Valley line, and 14 signal heads (the traffic lights of the railway) were replaced between Horsham and Crawley, the train detection system was upgraded in the same area  
  • Crawley, Ifield, Faygate, Littlehaven, Holmwood, Ockley, Horsham, Christs Hospital, Billingshurst, Pulborough, Amberley, Arundel and Warnham stations were deep cleaned, decorated and refurbished.  
  • Amberley station footbridge, Timberley Farm Viaduct and Timberley Farm Overbridge refurbished. The canopies were also repaired at Pulborough. 
  • The embankment cutting at Ockley and North Stoke tunnel was stabilised by installing a sheet piled wall which will help to prevent landslips 
  • Enabling work took place for the upgrade of Parsonage Road level crossing to a full barrier CCTV crossing to improve safety, and recontrol of Littlehaven signal box to the Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in June 2022 
  • Platform 2 at Littlehaven was extended to 12-cars, meaning longer trains will no longer overhang the adjacent crossing, and passengers will be able to get off trains without moving down carriages. The improvement will speed up journeys and increase safety for rail passengers and motorists using the crossing. The efficiencies gained from delivering work over an extended 9-day line closure supported the investment case for the platform extension, which received funding of £1.9m from the Department for Transport. This will come into use next year once trackside equipment associated with Parsonage Road level crossing is removed. 

The benefits

  • More work delivered – Delivering the work in nine consecutive days in August and several weekends between July and October, meant we carried out work much more efficiently than using traditional weekend and overnight access.  More efficient delivery means we can free up resources and deliver more improvement work for passengers. The project included several jobs, and by combining all the work in one 9-day package, 15 weekends, or 30 days of disruption were saved compared to doing things in the traditional way 
  • Better, more reliable journeys – the railway along much of the Arun Valley line dates from the 1980s and needed to be replaced . The essential improvements made to track, signal, stations, earthworks and structures helped modernise the network and give passengers better, more reliable journeys 
  • Improved passenger experience – while cleaner, brighter and better stations don’t have an impact on train performance, they give passengers a more pleasant journey experience.  The deep cleaned, painted and refurbished stations along the Arun Valley line gives passengers a more pleasant journey experience
  • Reduced risk of flooding on the line – drainage improvement work carried out help reduce or prevent the risk of flooding on the line 

Key dates

  • Follow-up work: Saturday 4 September – Sunday 5 September and Sunday 3 October – Weekend closures affecting all trains via Horsham.
Engineers refurbishing Amberley footbridge
Our team refurbishing Amberley footbridge 

Car parking

The station car parks at Arundel and Crawley will be closed on all days when rail closures are taking place. This is to allow for the safe operation of rail replacement buses. If you are planning on driving to these stations, you will need to find alternative parking, or you may find it easier to use a different nearby station. There will also be reduced number of spaces available in the car park at Horsham station during these works. This is to allow engineers space to carry out the track upgrades.

Passengers driving to these stations are advised to use alternative parking. 

Map of key affected routes

Passenger disruption

The work requires all lines via Horsham to be closed. Crawley station will be closed on all affected weekends.

Passengers wishing to travel along the Arun Valley line on these dates will need to allow considerably more time for their journeys and should expect to use either diverted trains via longer routes, or a replacement bus or coach to connect with rail services.

Services on longer distance coastal journeys to Chichester, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Portsmouth will still be running, but will go via an alternative route using the Brighton Main Line, meaning journeys will take longer.

Detailed travel advice for the closures including times of alternative trains and replacement buses will be available approximately six weeks before the respective closures dates.

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Sign-up with your email address to receive updates on the line closures affecting all train services via Horsham and the Arun Valley Line, and information on projects taking place across the Southern region.

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Contact us

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.

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