The first of five consecutive weekends of work at Chislehurst, south east London, has been completed successfully and safely by Network Rail.
The work, to rebuild the railway at the south end of the station to a new design, will improve the reliability and comfort of trains that run to and through the area.
Each weekend of engineering there means no trains can run through the station, on the line between Sevenoaks and Orpington. Southeastern trains have been diverted where possible and some has been and will be replaced by buses.
Work started on the weekend of 11 and 12 June and will continue until the weekend of 9 – 10 July.
Network Rail project manager Cameron Downey said: “Chislehurst is a busy stretch of railway and the area we are rebuilding sees many trains crossing from one track to another to destinations such as Sevenoaks, Rochester and beyond.
“Our project is to replace 12 sets of points and more than 500 metres of track, to a new design. We are doing this work piece by piece over five weekends, which is a challenge in itself, but when it is done we will have replaced worn-out tracks and equipment with new kit. This is part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to deliver more reliable journeys for passengers.
“In addition, trains are limited to 20 mph when they cross from one track to another here at Chislehurst, and we will be able to raise that to 40mph. We took out and replaced the first set of points, which allow trains to move from one set of tracks to another, this weekend, and we also re-laid more than 250m of new track.”
Southeastern Train Services Director, Richard Dean said: “The engineering work taking place over the next four weekends is essential to improving the reliability of the railway through this section of track. We appreciate that this will cause some inconvenience to our passengers over the next few weekends but we will be diverting trains where possible and putting on replacement bus services to keep people moving so we would ask people to please check before they travel.”
When complete, the £4m project will have re-laid the whole junction south of Chislehurst station to a new design, and changed the signalling arrangements. Trains currently use the junction to switch from on pair of tracks to another, and also access the line lines to Swanley and the Medway Towns.
(Source: Network Rail)