Brighton Main Line Improvement Project | Engineering work update

With the first weekend of the October engineering work complete, we wanted to provide you with a brief update on what has been achieved so far.

Over the last weekend and on 08 September, we successfully executed our planned schedule of work at 21 physical locations along the Brighton Line and 2 locations on the Keymer Branch. The following work was undertaken:

  • Three Bridges two signal heads were changed, enabling works for future signalling upgrades undertake and upgrades to the signalling power system
  • Balcombe Tunnel Junction – 13 panels of the new Switches and Crossings layout (the specially machined rails designed to permit trains to transfer between tracks) were delivered to site
  • Balcombe Tunnel – inspection of the structure, removal of the crash deck above the ventilation shaft and some initial drainage works
  • Balcombe Station to Copyhold Junction – 2.3 miles of conductor rail were renewed. Conductor rail is the rail through which electricity is supplied to electric trains operating on the third rail system.
  • Balcombe Tunnel & Haywards Heath – High Output Ballast Cleaning. Ballast is the aggregate stone, gravel, or cinders forming the track bed on which sleepers (ties) and track are laid to ensure stability and proper drainage.
  • Haywards Heath Station – four signal heads were converted to LED and signalling power upgrades
  • Clayton Tunnel – enabling works for the forthcoming track renewals were completed consisting of securing 1400 yards of cable route and clearing 1000 yards of scrap rail
  • Preston Park – improved track formation on platform 2 and commissioned 3 track disconnectors to replace hookswitches – the difference is outlined in the image below
  • Keymer Junction area – rerailing through Keymer level crossing as well as the removal of numerous rail defects and removal of wetbeds in Wivelsfield station
  • Streat Green (Plumpton Racecourse) – cables were relocated clear of the bridge to allow for the renewal of the bridge this weekend
  • Cooksbridge Station – undertook surveys at the station

In addition, there were a number of mobilisation teams to clear and prove drains across the route as well as an inspection of the Vale Viaduct.

The BBC have covered some of the work in the ventilation shaft of the tunnels in this short news piece.

We hope you find this interesting and will continue to keep you updated as the work progresses.

Kind regards,


Orlagh Ennis
Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Brighton Main Line Improvement Project

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