Three Bridges to Brighton and Lewes 9-day line closure – Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 February 2022
We are investing more than £15m from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 February 2022 and several other weekends, to improve journeys for passengers travelling on the Brighton Main Line.
When lines are closed buses will replace trains between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes.
Learn more about the work and alternative travel options below.
Major engineering works between Three Bridges Brighton and Lewes from Saturday 19 to Sunday 27 February means train will not serve certain stations.
To learn how your journey could be affected, visit our passenger information section below.
What work is being delivered?
Over the 9-day closure, and weekends before and after, we are delivering a more than £15 million investment.
Key projects are the rebuild of Copyhold Junction near Haywards Heath and track renewals at Burgess Hill, Preston Park and in the Clayton tunnel.
In total we are:
- Replacing more than 8,000 tonnes of ballast – the stones beneath the track that give support
- Replacing more than 1,500 metres of track
- Renewing eight sets of points – these are the mechanical systems that move the switches and crossings that guide trains from one track to another.
Why use an extended line closure?
Using an extended line closure to do the work will minimise overall disruption to passengers and neighbours. We can deliver the benefits more quickly and cost-effectively through a 9 day closure.
As the work can’t be completed without closing all lines between Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes, the alternative to delivering this investment over an extended closure in winter, when demand is naturally lower, was up to 20 weekend closures or multiple bank holiday closures over two years.
We know this approach would’ve been very difficult for passengers and stakeholders, especially on the south coast where weekend and bank holiday travel is vital to the leisure and tourism industry.
Hassocks underpass construction
Additionally, the closure will allow us to build a new underpass at Hassocks much more quickly, with less disruption to neighbours and reduced risk to the railway. The alternative to using the blockade opportunity was 40 nights of auger bore piling.
The new underpass will now provide safe access under the railway at Hassocks following the closure of Woodside level crossing due to misuse and near misses, including several fatalities and incidents of children playing chicken with trains.
More work and more improvements for passengers
To make the most of the closures, minimise disruption in the future and deliver even more journey improvements for passengers we’ve worked hard to bring additional work into the project.
- Rebuilding a collapsed culvert in the Balcombe tunnel to prevent water build-up which has been an issue in the tunnel since its construction.
- Installation of fibre optic cable between Three Bridges and Brighton during the blockade. The fibre optic will be run from Brighton to London Victoria and London Bridge when the work is complete, enhancing connectivity along the route for passengers as well as other users.
- Embankment and cutting stabilisation at Balcombe, Lewes, Haywards Heath and Hassocks using a mix of king post wall installations and soil nails to prevent delays from speed restrictions.
- Clayton tunnel inspections / maintenance including brickwork repairs to tunnel portal, shafts, and lining.
- Enhanced maintenance and inspections across closed track including wet bed removal.
- Tree planting and biodiversity improvements at Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill, Hassocks, including a dormice bridge at Balcombe.
- Refurb of Spatham Lane level crossing near Cooksbridge.
A major junction renewal at Balcombe when the line last closed in 2019
The time-lapse shows the renewal of Balcombe junction when the line last closed in 2019. We will be carrying out similar work at Copyhold Junction in 2022.
Passengers are strongly advised to plan and recheck journeys at National Rail or with the train operating companies.
Will there be any car park closures?
To allow us to safely operate replacement buses, there will be changes to car park facilities at the following stations:
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