Network Rail is set to close the southern part of the Brighton Main Line for nine days from 16 February as part of its £67M upgrade which includes landslide mitigation work.
This is said to be the biggest refurbishment of the line between Three Bridges and Brighton in more than 30 years and will tackle delay hotspots and boost reliability on what Network Rail describes as “one of the busiest and most unreliable parts of the network”.
In addition to renewal of track junctions and signalling, the closure will also allow engineers to “shore up embankments to reduce the risk of landslides” and install new monitoring equipment to warn of potential asset failures.
Network Rail South East route managing director John Halsall said: “This work is absolutely critical as this stretch is one of the most unreliable parts of the network, accounting for half the delays to trains arriving from the south into central London.
“We know it’s never a good time to close the railway, but the only alternative would have been to close the line for 84 weekends over the course of two years.
“Doing the work over this nine-day period means we can achieve so much more and deliver the punctuality and reliability benefits to passengers much sooner, plus the railway is much quieter during the school holidays.
“Working with our colleagues at Govia Thameslink Railway, we are making every effort to enable those passengers who need to travel during this period to do so comfortably.”