Network Rail has issued an Essential Travel Only warning as emergency repair work takes place on the Brighton Main Line this Sunday, 15th August 2021.
The essential work by Network Rail will be completed on Sunday the 15th of August from 00:01 am until 14:00 pm.
Network Rail, using its Ultrasonic Test Train, has identified defects in the rails between East Croydon and Redhill – leaving these could result in a broken rail.
Major changes to services will be a result of the work, with a limited train service between London and Brighton via Gatwick Airport running every 90 minutes.
A “very limited” bus service will run between Redhill and East Croydon. Ticket acceptance will be in place with Metrobus on route 100 between Redhill and Gatwick Aiport, as well as TfL Bus between Redhill and East Croydon.
This is all on top of the engineering work already planned between Three Bridges and Arundel planned to start on Saturday 14th August.
Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway’s joint network operations director, Mike Paterson, said: “We’re really sorry to be causing such disruption this Sunday, especially with engineering work elsewhere on our railway at Horsham.
“Our advice is to travel only if you absolutely have to while the work is taking place on Sunday morning, as we simply do not have the resources to run enough buses to carry everyone safely.
“We’ve got one line open, which will allow a very limited train service to run, but nowhere near what we would need to carry the normal number of passengers to the beach on a Sunday morning. Our team has tried to find different ways of getting this job done but we can’t put it off any longer and have to take this action now.
“Our test train picked up invisible defects inside two rails near Purley and the location of those rails means we will have to cut the damaged sections out and replace them.
“We’re keeping the line open until then by running trains more slowly, but that won’t work beyond a few days and we have to balance the need to carry passengers to the airport and the beach this weekend with our ability to do it safely.
“The nature of this problem means closing the line overnight Saturday and Sunday morning is the least-worst option.”
Shaun King, route director for Sussex said: “I’m sorry for the disruption to passengers’ journeys from this work, but only by doing this kind of job can we continue to offer reliable journeys for passengers. I’d urge passengers to check before they travel this weekend.”
Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said: “Services between London and the South Coast will be extremely limited on the Sunday morning while Network Rail carry out this essential work, so we advise customers not to travel before 2pm unless your journey is absolutely necessary.
“If you do have to travel, allow plenty of extra time, and please wear a face covering in crowded spaces, out of respect for others.”
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