Christmas railway upgrade work in Sussex just four weeks away

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With just four weeks to go until Christmas, passengers are being reminded this week that major upgrade work to the Brighton Main Line will disrupt journeys over the festive period.

The work, which will see a busy section of railway completely replaced near Croydon, means that train services between London and Sussex– including Gatwick Airport – will be disrupted between Christmas Day and Sunday January 3.

Trains will continue to run and passengers will still be able to travel to and from London, but some journeys may be diverted and therefore take longer. Passengers are advised to check before they travel and leave extra time for their journeys.

Network Rail’s area director Steve Knight said, “The work we are doing this Christmas is a crucial part of our Railway Upgrade Plan and will mean a better, more reliable railway for passengers when they return to work in the New Year.

“The railway is quieter at Christmas, which is why we do our major work then, but it’s still a busy time we know it’s still a busy time for people visiting family and friends. For that reason we are ramping up our communications to reach as many people as we can, so they can plan ahead and enjoy celebrating while our teams are working hard.”

David Scorey, Southern’s passenger services director, said, “We’re putting arrangements in place to keep passengers moving while these essential works are being done, but it will mean some passengers’ journey times will be extended, so please check before you travel.”

From the evening of Christmas Eve until the evening of January 3 2016, the major railway junction at Purley will be replaced with modern, more reliable track and signalling equipment to give passengers more reliable, comfortable and quieter journeys.

As a result, there will be no trains between South Croydon and Redhill, and the Gatwick Express service will be suspended. There will be a mixture of diversions and bus replacements to keep passengers on the move, with journeys to Gatwick estimated to take around 90 minutes from central London. Journeys from Brighton to Gatwick will be unaffected.

Passengers are encouraged to check with or their operator before they travel.

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