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Published on : Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Network Rail is about to begin a programme of improvement work to the railway between Tonbridge and Hastings through Tunbridge Wells to boost performance and reliability for passengers on the line.Engineers will shortly start work to replace worn-out components and rail on a busy section of the route, along with vital maintenance on the earthworks and signalling systems.
However, it will mean changes to train services on Monday and Tuesday late evenings from December 14. Trains that leave London and Hastings after 9pm on those days will be replaced by buses for the parts of their journeys between Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells and Wadhurst.
Network Rail’s route managing director for the south east, Alasdair Coates, said: “Our railway is booming and many lines are as busy on weekends as they are during the week. To keep trains running reliably we have to continue with our Railway Upgrade Plan to replace worn-out track and other equipment, but we also know that passengers want to travel by train on a Saturday and Sunday.
“We have worked with Southeastern on a plan to continue our improvement work on the Hastings line overnight on Mondays and Tuesdays, when evening trains are at their quietest – and considerably quieter than at weekends.“There is no good time to do this work and it is almost impossible to do so without impacting on passengers – however I’m confident that this will plan keep the railway open as long as possible, while also improving journeys for everybody.”
Richard Dean, train services director at Southeastern, said: “Network Rail has asked to take possession of this route from this time on Monday evening to carry out vital engineering work and we have agreed as we are assured it will mean less work taking place at the weekend.
“We appreciate this will inconvenience those who travel on this line after 9pm on a Monday or Tuesday evening and we apologise for that, but this will impact on a much lesser number of passengers than if this happened on a Saturday or Sunday.“Bus replacement services will be in place during these times and we would urge passengers to please leave extra time for their journeys.”
Maintenance work on the route that will take place overnight on Mondays and Tuesdays will include work on the trackbed, drainage, embankments and cuttings, the signalling system, and replacing worn out rail and other components.