South London railway line to close for nine days this July

Passengers are being advised to plan ahead as Network Rail gears up for nine-day total closure of Penge Tunnel between Brixton and Beckenham Junction in South London, in late July

A section of line between Brixton and Beckenham Junction will be closed to allow for Network Rail engineers to complete work in Penge Tunnel. The line will be closed for nine consecutive days at the end of the month, from Saturday 23rd July to Sunday 31st July.

Engineers will be working to replace around two and a half miles of track, replacing track inside the 1.25 mile long tunnel. The old track will be removed so that the track bed can be dug up and then the rail and ballast can be replaced using a specialised track laying machine.

By completing this work, the line aims to continue with safe running and increase the reliability of the services.

Whilst the work is carried out, other crucial maintenance work will be carried out to avoid doing it at a later date.

The £5 million replacement is part of the South East Upgrade programme. the programme aims to provide better journeys through infrastructure improvements to passengers in Kent and South East London.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail’s Kent route director, said: “We’d like to thank passengers and residents living alongside the railway for their patience while we carry out this major track replacement at Penge tunnel.

“This will be a challenging task as the tunnel is over a mile long, but the benefits will mean less maintenance will be needed in future as the track and components will be newer, meaning fewer faults and smoother, more reliable journeys for passengers.

“We recognise this work can be disruptive to passengers and those living alongside the railway and that’s why we’ve tried to fit in other maintenance tasks within the nine-day railway closure so that it causes less disruption and is more cost effective.

“By taking a full nine days, we will significantly reduce overall disruption to passengers, as the alternative to this approach would be five weekends of closure in addition to two separate Sundays.”

Scott Brightwell, operations and safety director for Southeastern said: “We don’t want people to get caught out, so our advice to our passengers during this work is to check before you travel, and to plan ahead by using the Southeastern website or National Rail Enquiries. There’s never a good time for work like this to be carried out but the work is crucial and it will mean better journeys in the future.”

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