Brighton Main Line Improvement Project | Engineering work confirmed and news on the route

Dear Stakeholder,

I hope you have been having an enjoyable Summer. Lots of work has been going on in the background to re-plan the final dates of engineering works and confirm work on new projects.

In March, we advised you that the planned engineering work on 06 April 2019 would be postponed as Brighton Hove Albion FC had made it to Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final. We are delighted to now confirm that the work on the Brighton Main Line will take place on Sunday, 06 October 2019 with one existing maintenance closure on Sunday, 24 November being utilised to de-risk the final date of work. We would like to thank you for your patience while this major programme of work has taken place. By way of thanks, some of our stakeholders are promoting offers as well as advertising their businesses in a voucher booklet. In addition, we have produced a stakeholder booklet outlining the work achieved and the benefits. If you would like copies of either, please let us know by return mail advising how many you would like and we can post them to you.

As you will recall, in March 2019, we were scheduled to complete the resignalling project from Lewes to Seaford. However, following discussions with our delivery partners, we came to the conclusion that there was no longer confidence that the final commissioning of the signalling equipment from Lewes to Seaford could be completed over the 4-day closure of the railway. We were not prepared to risk the lines not reopening for passengers on the Monday morning and took the very difficult decision to postpone that part of the work. We pulled forward a great deal of work to maximise use of the line closure and we completed the following work between 07-10 March 2019:

  • All construction works were completed, in readiness for the new system being switched on.
  • Four new signals were installed in the Lewes area
  • All other signals are in location, ready for final commissioning
  • Reinstatement of the Cooksbridge Level Crossing
  • A full track renewal at Bishopstone
  • Conductor rail renewal at Newhaven Harbour
  • Access works at Cuckmere River Bridge
  • Removal of wet beds around Southease using our Force One machine
  • Re-railing around the whole Glynde areaStation improvement works at Bishopstone, Falmer, London Road, Lewes, Moulsecoomb, Newhaven Harbour, Newhaven Town, Seaford and Southease including deep cleaning, vegetation clearance to improve access and some roof works

We are now delighted to confirm that the final works will take place as follows:

  • Sunday, 25 August 2019 – Newhaven Harbour Level Crossing will close permanently
  • Sunday, 15 September 2019 – preparation for the main works will take place and buses will replace trains

Thursday, 28 November to Monday, 02 December 2019 – four days of engineering works will take place to commission the new signalling systems and de-commission the signal boxes at Lewes, Newhaven Town and Newhaven Harbour. As a result, buses will replace trains.  Please check your journey before you travel on the National Rail Journey Planner

Finally, following the success of the 9-day line closure on the Brighton Main Line and the positive feedback in support of undertaking a line closure during half-term rather than over multiple weekends, Network Rail have confirmed a 9-day line closure during October half-term to complete a major track renewal project from Barnham to Havant.  The project will take place from Saturday, 26 October 2019 with the line re-opening early on Monday, 04 November.  There will be three follow-up weekends of work on Sunday, 10 November 2019, Sunday, 17 November 2019 and Saturday, 30 November 2019 to Sunday, 01 December 2019.

During this time, we will be undertaking works to renew 1.37 miles of track between Barnham and Havant including four Level Crossings (Basin Road, Stockbridge Road, Brook Lane and Bosham) and improvements at stations along the route. This essential work will improve reliability and safety of the assets whilst also improving performance.

These works are part of the £304m Delivery Plan for Control Period 6 (2019-2024). This five-year plan which started on 01 April 2019, gives us a fresh opportunity to refocus and put the needs of passengers and freight first. The webpage is live at

Consistent with the Brighton Main Line Improvement Project, we will be launching communication campaigns for both the Lewes Resignalling Project and the Barnham to Havant Improvement Project soon.

Thank you for your continued support. We will continue to keep you updated with progress on the projects as they progress.

Kind regards,

Orlagh Ennis
Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Programmes Team
Network Rail

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