Murky Depths

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Transport

Nine day Southeastern rail closure begins in a week

Closure of New Eltham line appears to delay running of weekday trains

It’s now a little over a week until a major Southeastern line is closed for nine days for major engineering work.

The Mottingham line through Hither Green will be closed from Saturday 25 July to Sunday 2 August 2020.

Lee station will see no services

The line through Hither Green to Chistlehurst is also closed as is the Bromley North branch line.

Network Rail highlight that:

  • Buses will replace trains between Lewisham and both Sidcup and Orpington
  • Sidcup services to Central London will head east before swinging round at Crayford to approach London via the Bexleyheath and Woolwich lines
  • Shuttle buses will run between New Eltham, Mottingham and Eltham, and between Elmstead Woods and Eltham, for services to London
  • Buses will replace trains on the Bromley North branch
  • Services from Petts Wood and Orpington will run to Victoria, Blackfriars or London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross (running non-stop via New Beckenham)
  • Tickets will be accepted on alternative routes
  • All Southeastern car parks will be available to season ticket holders who usually travel from a closed station (subject to capacity).

Trains to London Bridge will not run from some stations

£81 million is to be spent. Capacity enhancements may be possible with 12-car trains being able to stop at Hither Green platform 3 (though I’d never heard of that being a problem before unlike places such as Woolwich Dockyard) and an upgraded power supply. Longer trains draw more power.

This could tie in with trains cascaded from South West Rail to Southeastern. Though they are only 10 carriages and do not utilise 12 car running, they could free up Networkers for more 12-car running.

Networkers are nearing 30 years old

It’s not a long term solution as Networkers are nearing 30 years old and 12-car trains using that stock cannot call at Woolwich Dockyard or certain platforms at Charing Cross. New stock with onboard cameras and door opening software is needed to overcome those obstacles.

Another operational benefit of this project will be new turnback potential at Hither Green, Grove Park and Lee. Thus if future engineering work is underway at, say Mottingham, trains could still run from Lee to central London.

 

2 Comments

  1. David

    One important point not mentioned is that more trains will be running on the Bexleyheath line during the closure, at least in peak hours. For example there are currently six trains per hour from Eltham to London between 7.30 am and 8.30 am on weekdays. The Network Rail planner shows ten London bound services at this time during the closure week. Many Sidcup line stations are not too far from Bexleyheath line stations so this will be a help. I’m surprised it’s not mentioned in the Network Rail press material

  2. Paul

    The problem for 12 cars is not platform 3 at Hither Green, its platform 3 at Grove Park. The signal at the end of the platform, is not far enough up to allow 12 car trains to stop at the monitors, as in the train would have to pass the signal to be at the monitors. The signal is being moved off the end of the platform, and the 12 car monitors can now be installed at the end of the platform.

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