Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Investment to improve train services in Sussex
6:50am Monday 31st March 2014 in News
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.”
- Storms causing delays, disruption and damage as heavy rain and lightning hits
- Train delays between Brighton and Littlehampton as storm kills power
- Crashes on the rise
- Criticism over antenatal cuts
- Former finance boss jailed for £2.2m NHS fraud
Comments are closed on this article.