Uckfield line to close as work begins on overcrowding project

Tom Tugendhat MP opens work on the new project. SUS-150927-130632001
Tom Tugendhat MP opens work on the new project. SUS-150927-130632001

Parts of a rail lines in Sussex will be closed several times in the coming months as work begins on a project to tackle overcrowding.

The Network Rail project will see 12 platforms extended between Edenbridge Town and Uckfield to allow 10-carriage trains to run on the line.

Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat formally marked the start of the project on Friday (September 27).

Network Rail say the longer trains will increase capacity on the line during the morning peak by 50 per cent from July 2016, helping to meet a growing passenger demand.

Southern Railway will lease, refurbish and run the trains after Network Rail build the longer platforms and infrastructure.

Tom Tugendhat MBE, Member of Parliament for Tonbridge, Edenbridge and Malling, said, “I am pleased that the platform extensions on the Uckfield line are taking place and will be completed soon.

“This will mean that commuters and other rail users will be able to have a more comfortable journey as trains are able to take extra carriages.

“Work is now underway and this will be a huge benefit to the local community in providing a better train service. I look forward to the completion of the work early next year”.

The line will be closed between Hurst Green and Uckfield on weekdays between 9.20am and 4.40pm from November 2 to November 27.

A second round of works on the Hurst Green to Uckfiled line will begin on February 29 and run until March 24.

From January 4 to February 20 the line between Crowborough and Uckfield will be closed all day.

There will also be a number of weekend closures at various points between August 2015 and May 2016.

The closure will see changes to last trains Monday to Thursday.

Network Rail project manager, Craig Melhuish, said, “By extending the platforms we will be able to run longer trains that will reduce congestion and improve the daily commute for thousands of people each day.

“Our work has been planned closely with the train operator to keep any disruption to train services to an absolute minimum. I’d like to thank passengers and local residents in advance for their patience and understanding while we carry out this much needed upgrade to the railway.”

Network Rail started setting up site compounds in early August 2015, with permanent works starting this month at some sites and in the New Year for others. The stations will be completed on a staggered basis between February and July 2016.

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