Network Rail will be switching on a modern, more reliable state of the art signalling system to reduce train delays during a four-day closure of the railway in the Lewes area from Thursday 7 March to Sunday 10 March.
Rail services between Brighton and London will run as normal but there will be no Southern trains west of Eastbourne via Lewes as far as Falmer and Wivelsfield. Buses will replace trains at over 10 stations, journeys will take longer, there will be fewer trains between Eastbourne and Hastings, and services will be busy.
The closure has been publicised since before November last year with the passenger awareness campaign stepped up in January. Passengers should visit southernrailway.com/lewes or networkrail.co.uk/lewes for more information.
Keith Jipps, Infrastructure Director for Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, added: “Our key objective while Network Rail carry out this work is to reduce the impact on passengers as much as possible.
“We will have buses where our trains can’t run, ticket acceptance with local buses, Thameslink and Southeastern, and extra staff ready to help. Passengers should travel outside the peak times where possible and allow more time for their journey. Please check before you travel at southernrailway.com/lewes.”
Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock to complete the final phase of work on a project to upgrade the old signalling system on the line between Lewes and Seaford with modern, more reliable technology to reduce delays for passengers.
The final commissioning, when the current system will be disconnected and the new system switched on, can only be carried out with a closure of the railway in the Lewes area.
When the new signalling equipment is brought into use the signal boxes at Lewes, Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour will close and control of the signalling in the area transferred to Network Rail’s state-of-the-art route operating centre at Three Bridges.
For four days, from Thursday 7 March to Sunday 10 March, there are no trains between the following stations:
- Wivelsfield – Lewes
- Falmer – Lewes
- Seaford – Lewes
- Polegate – Lewes
Between Brighton and Falmer a shuttle train will be replacing the normal service, running every 40 minutes, supplemented by buses.
Buses will replace trains. There will be:
- A stopping service between Brighton and Seaford calling at several stations.
- A stopping service between Brighton and Polegate calling at Lewes.
- A limited service between Haywards Heath to Polegate, calling at Cooksbridge and Lewes.
- A stopping service between Haywards Heath and Lewes calling at Plumpton.
- A limited stopping service between Lewes and Polegate calling at Glynde and Berwick.
- A service between Polegate and East Grinstead.
Passengers with rail tickets will also be able to travel for free with Brighton & Hove on routes 12, 25, 28 and 29
From 7 to 10 March, tickets from stations on the East Coastway for journeys to/from London will be accepted for travel on Brighton Main Line Thameslink services
On Thursday 7 and Friday 8 March, tickets will be accepted on Southeastern services from Hastings and St Leonards Warrior Square to London Charing Cross via Tunbridge Wells.