Passengers reminded to check ahead for weekend closures on the Brighton Main Line in October

Weekend rail passengers are reminded to check before travelling on the southern part of the Brighton Main Line in October as work to improve one of the least reliable parts of the South East’s rail network steps up in intensity.

Network Rail engineers are carrying out the first major overhaul of the railway between Three Bridges and Brighton in more than thirty years.

The work includes upgrades to track, signalling and tunnel drainage which will lead to fewer delays owing to equipment faults or problems caused by flooding inside Victorian tunnels.

The £67m Brighton Main Line Improvement Project is part of a wider £300m programme to improve the reliability of some of the busiest and most congested lines in the South East, including the recently expanded Thameslink network.

The line will be closed between Three Bridges and Brighton and Three Bridges and Lewes on all four weekends in October while teams of engineers work inside the tunnels at Balcombe and Clayton.

Paul Harwood, Network Rail’s director of South East route investment, said: “We want to make the least reliable part of our network better for passengers and our work to upgrade the southern end of the Brighton Main Line is now well underway.   

“We know there’s never a good time to close the railway, which is why we’re working closely with our train operator partners to keep disruption to passengers to an absolute minimum. I’d advise passengers to keep an eye out for the information that’s available to them in stations and online and plan ahead if travelling at weekends in October.”

Keith Jipps, Govia Thameslink Railway’s Infrastructure Director, said: “Network Rail’s works to upgrade the Brighton Main Line really are vital for us to continue to improve our service and we appreciate many of our passengers who use the railway at the weekends will be inconvenienced.

“I’d remind travellers that Brighton and surrounding towns remain open for business and there will be an extensive bus replacement service and trains running via the longer route through Littlehampton.”