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Major upgrades for South London railway lines

Major upgrades for South London railway lines

An aerial view of London’s Victoria station

Submitted for publication by Leonard Bennett, Network Rail

A major upgrade is about to begin as Network Rail plans to modernise 1980s track and signalling on the lines into London’s Victoria station.

The four year long project is to take place at weekends between London Victoria, Clapham Junction and Balham, and the West London Lines from Clapham to Shepherds Bush, and will get underway fully this month, continuing until after Christmas 2022.

Upgrades between Tulse Hill, Peckham Rye and Crystal Palace, and between Nunhead, Herne Hill and the Battersea area will follow between 2022 and 2025.

These upgrades will improve reliability on the network, helping even more passenger and freight trains arrive at their destinations on time.

Shaun King, route director, Sussex said: “It’s vital that we continue to modernise the rail network so that we can build back better, stronger and more reliable than ever before for passengers and freight users.

“Much of the track and signalling in South London is more than 40 years old and it’s also some of the most intensively used in the country.

“The work we are doing on the lines into Victoria over the next few years will keep passengers moving safely and reliably long into the future.”

Southern Customer Services Director Chris Fowler said: “The route to Victoria is one of our busiest and a signal failure or track fault here creates delays across the south east. That’s why we welcome Network Rail’s initiative and will support them by altering our train service and arranging alternative transport each weekend their engineers are working.”

Passengers travelling on affected routes are advised to check before travelling at weekends and bank holidays.

On the following dates, no trains will run between Victoria and East Croydon. Most trains will be diverted to London Bridge. A limited rail replacement bus service will run between East Croydon and Clapham Junction for local journeys.

  • Saturday, February 13 to Sunday, February 14
  • Saturday, February 20 to Sunday, February 21
  • Saturday, May 1 to Monday, May 3 (Bank Holiday weekend)
  • Saturday, May 8 to Sunday, May 9
  • Saturday, May 15 to Sunday, May 16
  • Saturday, May 22 to Sunday, May 23
  • Saturday, May 29 to Monday, May 31 (Bank Holiday weekend)
  • Sunday, June 6 no trains will run between Balham and Victoria

Rail tickets will be accepted on London Underground services between London Victoria and London Bridge and Balham and on London Buses between Balham and Streatham Hill. Tickets will also be valid on South Western Railway services between Clapham Junction and London Waterloo.

Additional weekend working will be required to support the work. Further dates to follow when confirmed.

Christmas works will take place on the following dates:

  • Saturday, December 25 to Sunday, January 2, 2022. Nine day closure.
  • Sunday, December 25 to Monday, January 2, 2023. Nine day closure.

The following upgrades are being made between London Victoria, Clapham Junction and Balham, and the West London Lines from Clapham to Shepherds Bush

  • Multimillion-pound investment in signalling, track, civils, power systems and telecoms
  • 93 new modern LED signals
  • 17 signal gantries replaced with new easier maintained structures
  • Three new power supply points for the signalling and points heating equipment
  • 186 new axle counters (train detection equipment)
  • 200,000 metres of new signalling, telecoms and power supply cable
  • Eight key junctions and 50 points renewed to achieve greater track reliability and minimise disruption
  • Recontrol to the Clapham and Balham areas from the 1970s Victoria Area Signalling Centre to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre

You can learn more about the project at networkrail.co.uk/Victoriaresignalling