The ArgusInvestment to improve train services in Sussex (From The Argus)

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Investment to improve train services in Sussex

The Argus: Investment to improve train services in Sussex Investment to improve train services in Sussex

Thousands of commuters across Sussex are expected to benefit from  major investment in the county's train network.

Network Rail today announced it would be spending more than £2.3 billion over the next five years to improve lines connecting Sussex and Kent to London.

This includes improving signalling in the Balcombe area of the main line between  Brighton and London to increase flexibility.

The platform at Uckfield station will also  be lengthened so longer trains can use it.

Plans to add an extra platform at Redhill in Surrey and improving speed on the track between Hastings and Ashford are also expected to help cope with demand and  improve punctuality.

Other work includes improving the concourse at Victoria station to give passengers more room, upgrading the power supply to improve reliability and allow for increased services and bringing 50% of all signalling in the county into a new control centre.

Rail bosses will also be working on ways to improve the way the train service responds in severe weather and its resilience.

Heavy storms and rain caused chaos on the network just before Christmas and in January, with thousands of people facing scores of delays and disruption.

Network Rail said a rolling programme of station upgrades and improvements was also planned.

There has been a 50% increase in passengers over the last 10 years, and the latest investment is part of a wider programme to provide an extra 115,000 seats a day into the capital by 2019.

Work has already started on improvements at London Bridge, which are due to be finished by 2018 and an extra platform has been opened at Gatwick Airport.

Shelley Atlas, chairwoman of the Brighton Line Commuters pressure group,  welcomed today's news.

She said: “We need this investment to help improve punctuality, which is the main concern for our members.

“Changes like this should help, especially as the number of people using the trains continues to rise.

“It is good that they are also looking at the way they responded to the bad weather.

“Hopefully they will have learned a hard lesson from recent events and help them be prepared for next winter.”

Network Rail’s managing director for the south east, Dave Ward, said: “The growth we are managing now is phenomenal – Southeastern and Southern already run more than 2,000 trains each every day – and this has given us a real opportunity to improve the railway in Kent, Sussex and south-east London.

“We have a great responsibility to passengers who rely on us and their operators to carry them home safely and reliably  every day, and we can only continue to do that by improving existing routes and  upgrading our technology.

“The next five years will make a huge difference to everyone who travels by train in the south east, and we are committed to delivering a better, more reliable railway for them.”

 

Comments (2)

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9:16am Mon 31 Mar 14

Tallywhacker says...

More platforms, more signals and a bigger signal box at Three Bridges don't mean more trains. With the same number of tracks you can still only fit the same number of trains. Eventually there will be so many trains jammed in there will be one at every signal, it will take hours just getting to Gatwick one signal at a time red followed by red and they will all be stopping trains no more fast services. It is more lines not simply jamming up the limited track space there is now that will speed up trips. And with 50% of all signals controlled from one signal box guess what happens when that box fails.....
More platforms, more signals and a bigger signal box at Three Bridges don't mean more trains. With the same number of tracks you can still only fit the same number of trains. Eventually there will be so many trains jammed in there will be one at every signal, it will take hours just getting to Gatwick one signal at a time red followed by red and they will all be stopping trains no more fast services. It is more lines not simply jamming up the limited track space there is now that will speed up trips. And with 50% of all signals controlled from one signal box guess what happens when that box fails..... Tallywhacker
  • Score: 4

8:56pm Mon 31 Mar 14

HJarrs says...

We need to be gearing up in the city to attract people here by train and reduce the number of tourist and rush hour cars coming into the city. By 2018 London Bridge is supposed to be finished and there will be step change in the capacity and number of destinations served by rail.
We need to be gearing up in the city to attract people here by train and reduce the number of tourist and rush hour cars coming into the city. By 2018 London Bridge is supposed to be finished and there will be step change in the capacity and number of destinations served by rail. HJarrs
  • Score: 0

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