After extensive consultation with passengers Network Rail have now removed a week of the most disruptive elements of their planned work in October 2018. Previously no trains would have been able to use the Brighton line during one week of the October half term.
The work will now be carried out using just one nine-day closure from 16–24 February 2019, with supporting weekend closures from September 2018 to May 2019 remaining as planned. In a statement Network Rail said, "The weekday closures have been carefully planned for the February school half-term (16-24 February), when passenger numbers are lower and some people may be able to be more flexible with their travel plans or take holiday."
The planned dates are:
The programme of works will involve:
• Stemming leaks into the tunnels and improving drainage
• Upgrading or replacing the third rail power system and signalling
• Replacing track and sets of points, which enable trains to switch between tracks
• Replacing fencing and improving security to deter trespassers.
It will improve reliability on the Brighton Main Line significantly, reducing delays for passengers travelling between London and the south coast.