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Brighton to Lewes train line upgrade delights Seagulls supporters
Seagulls’ supporters’ trips to the Amex could get easier with a major overhaul of rail links to the stadium.
Network Rail is set to invest more than £2million upgrading the Brighton to Lewes line and increasing platforms at Falmer Station.
It is hoped that the improvements will allow more trains to run and reduce queues before and after matches.
Work to lengthen the platforms is due to be completed by December while re-signalling work is due to be completed by next spring.
About 10,000 people currently use the train to get to Albion matches at the American Express Community Stadium and the club are hoping it will mean even more supporters using the train.
At present the current signalling system, which is 30-years-old, can only handle trains running at a frequency of nine minute intervals.
The changes will allow more trains to safely use the line at any one time and will mean that passengers will be able to alight from all eight carriages.
Albion executive director Martin Perry said: "This will be a huge benefit to those of our supporters using rail services to get to the stadium on match days.
“The improved signalling will result in trains travelling at a much greater frequency which will make the service for our supporters even faster and hopefully enable us to achieve even higher numbers of supporters using public transport.”
Simon Chapman, Network Rail’s route enhancement manager for Sussex, said: “These improvements will provide extra capacity on the well-used line between Brighton and Lewes and provide passengers using Falmer station with better access between the train and platforms.
“As Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and the surrounding area continue to grow, the station must evolve too and this work will help to provide a better gateway for fans and passengers who travel there by train.
“The current signalling in the area dates back to the 1980s and the investment will improve the infrastructure to help meet the needs of a growing and increasingly in-demand railway.”
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby recently met with Network Rail officials to lobby for improvements to reduce congestion particularly on match days.
He said he hoped improvements to the signalling could help ease the problem of long queues at the station and crowded platforms for people leaving the ground.
A Southern spokesman said: “This is an excellent initiative which will benefit many of our passengers on match days.
“We are already working on plans on how we can best deliver these benefits, ready for when the project completes next year.”
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