Evening work on line until April ‘at least’


Part of the railway line between Hastings and London Charing Cross will close for two evenings a week for at least four months due to major engineering works.

Network Rail is about to begin a programme of improvement work to the line between Tonbridge and Hastings.

Engineers will replace old components and rail and carry out vital maintenance on the earthworks and signalling systems.

However, it will mean changes to train services on Monday and Tuesday late evenings from December 14.

Trains leaving London and Hastings after 9pm on these days will be replaced by buses between Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Wadhurst.

Network Rail said the work is open-ended, but would ongoing until at least April.

Route managing director for the south east, Alasdair Coates, said: “To keep trains running reliably we have to continue with our Railway Upgrade Plan to replace worn-out track and other equipment, but we also know that passengers want to travel by train on a Saturday and Sunday.

“We have worked with Southeastern on a plan to continue our improvement work on the Hastings line overnight on Mondays and Tuesdays, when evening trains are at their quietest – and considerably quieter than at weekends.

“There is no good time to do this work and it is almost impossible to do so without impacting on passengers – however I’m confident that this plan will keep the railway open as long as possible, while also improving journeys for everybody.”

Richard Dean, train services director at Southeastern, said: “We appreciate this will inconvenience those who travel on this line after 9pm on a Monday or Tuesday evening and we apologise for that, but this will impact on a much lesser number of passengers than if this happened on a Saturday or Sunday. Bus replacement services will be in place during these times and we would urge passengers to leave extra time for their journeys.” For train times, see www.nationalrail.co.uk

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