A £3.5m refurbishment of Mill Stream railway viaduct at Ashurst station, on the line between Oxted and Uckfield, started on Saturday, 2nd July, and will continue on Saturday, 9th and Sunday, 10th July and Saturday, 6th and Sunday, 7th August.
Mill Stream Viaduct was built from wrought iron in 1888 when the line from Oxted was opened through to Eridge via Hever, Cowden, and Ashurst, joining the already-open Tunbridge Wells to Lewes railway. The work will keep trains and passengers moving over it safely and reliably for another 50 years.
To facilitate the work, no trains will run between Oxted and Uckfield on Saturday and Sunday 9th and 10th July and 6th and 7th August,
During the closure, buses will replace train services between Oxted and Crowborough, and between Crowborough and Uckfield.
Katie Frost, Network Rail’s route director for Sussex (the part of the railway that manages the Uckfield line) said:
“Our railway has a host of Victorian structures that underpin the millions of journeys passengers take with us every year and we have to take good care of them. Mill Stream Viaduct is made of metal, and we need to give it a thorough refurbishment to keep it strong for the future, blasting the old paint off, repainting and repairing the metal sections, replacing the decking, the track and the timbers that support the track too.
“We’ll be able to do most of that work while trains are still running but there will be three weekends when we have to work on the track – starting this week.
“Thanks to everyone for their patience in advance while we do the work.”
Chris Fowler, Southern’s customer services director, said:
“This important investment will protect the safety and reliability of the route for our customers for decades to come. We thank all users of the Uckfield branch in advance for their patience during the three weekends when the line has to close.”