With the second weekend of the October engineering work complete, we wanted to provide you with a brief update on what has been achieved so far. We also have some news regarding closures at Victoria station over the Christmas period.

Over the last weekend, we successfully executed our planned schedule of work, with one exception being the renewal of the Streat Green underbridge which was deferred due to high winds. The following work was undertaken:

  • Balcombe Tunnel Junction – All the new switch panels have been built and moved into a stacking area alongside the layout in readiness for February 2019. Once installed, it makes it easier for the trains to cross over to an alternative track.
  • Balcombe Station to Copyhold Junction – over 1000 yards of ballast on the Down Line has been cleaned
  • Haywards Heath Station – rerailing in Haywards Heath Tunnel, 30 wet beds dug out, repeat rough ride locations treated
  • Wivesfield/Haywards Heath – 2 signals and a banner converted to LED operation
  • Haywards Heath to Preston Park – 3 km of cables laid
  • Clayton Tunnel – lighting and ventilation system installed in preparation for this weekend’s renewal
  • Streat Green  (Plumpton Racecourse) – Underbridge renewal deferred due to high winds. Replanned for  this weekend
  • There were also a numbers of mobilisation to continue with drain clearance and other structures inspections.

As mentioned earlier in the newsletter, we can now confirm the passenger management arrangements for the £8.2 million Battersea Pier Junction engineering works taking place over the Christmas period. Battersea Junction is on the busy final approach to Victoria station and our closure will enable engineers to replace the existing crossings with new track. Work will include the renewal of 12 sets of points (the equipment which allows trains to change lines), 1300m of track, 1800m of conductor (or ‘third’) rail and associated cabling and power supply providing an asset life of around 35 years. By replacing this infrastructure which was built in the mid-1970s, we will be improving reliability for the 240,000 passengers who pass through the station every day.

As a result, platforms 9-19 at Victoria station will be closed from 01:05am on Sunday, 23 December 2018 until 04:00 am on Wednesday, 02 January 2019. Most Southern trains will be rerouted to London Bridge. There will be no Gatwick Express trains but Southern and Thameslink services for Gatwick will run to and from other Central London stations, including Blackfriars and London Bridge. A limited bus service will replace trains for local journeys between Clapham Junction, Battersea Park and Victoria.

All passengers will be reminded to check before they travel through an extensive Christmas information campaign. Revised train times will be available near the time using the National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner

Kind regards,


Orlagh Ennis
Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Brighton Main Line Improvement Project
Network Rail

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