This weekend (between Thursday 28th November and Sunday 1st December) a new signalling system will be switched on between Lewes and Seaford in Sussex.
A rail replacement bus services will be in operation during this period in the affected area as the old system is switched off and the new one switched on.
The new modern signalling technology will be controlled from the Network Rail route operating centre at Three Bridges. This does mean that the signal boxes at Lewes, Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour will close.
The Saxy and Farmer type 5 signal box at Lewes is grade II listed. It was built in 1888 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway. The signal boxes at Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour are also Saxby and Farmer boxes and were built in 1879.
As part of the project track upgrade works have also taken place at Southerham Junction. The new signalling system will increase the number of trains that can use the diversionary route for London to Brighton services via Lewes to 3 trains per hour.
Whilst the switchover takes place this weekend, services between Brighton and London will not be affected. However, there will be no trains west of Eastbourne via Lewes as far as Brighton, Seaford and Haywards Heath. Buses will replace trains from Thursday 28 November to Sunday 1 December 2019.
What did the officials say?
Dan Athol, Programme Director for Network Rail said:
“This is a much-needed upgrade to some of the oldest signalling in the country, with new state-of-the-art equipment providing passengers with more reliable journeys for many years to come.
“I’d like to thank people for their patience while we complete the upgrade in November. There is never a good time to close the railway and the alternatives would have meant impacting services over several weekends in the summer. Following our recent discussions with local stakeholders, we know this would have been unacceptable to the leisure and tourism industry here on the south coast.
“We continue to work closely with our colleagues at Southern, ensuring people are fully aware of the closures and the alternative travel options available to them.”
Keith Jipps, Infrastructure Director for Southern’s parent company Govia Thameslink Railway, said:
“This major investment will improve the reliability of signalling and therefore our services for passengers travelling on one of our key Southern routes. Updated bus and train times for the closure period are now available at nationalrail.co.uk and we advise passengers to check before you travel.”
For the Latest Railway News
RailAdvent Online Shop
Framed Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s and more
Come and share your railway pictures
Visit their website
Mainline Steam Info
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements