Check before you travel this Easter weekend and plan ahead for August and Christmas

Check before you travel this Easter weekend and plan ahead for August and Christmas

With Easter fast approaching, passengers are reminded not to put all their eggs in one basket and make sure they plan ahead before travelling as Network Rail carries out essential railway upgrades this bank holiday weekend.

Across south and south east London, Sussex, Kent and parts of Surrey, Network Rail’s engineers and maintenance teams will be using the four-day weekend, when the railway is quieter than usual, to deliver a huge programme of investment that will improve journeys for passengers on some of the busiest parts of Britain’s rail network

At London Bridge, work continues to rebuild the country’s fourth-busiest station and the surrounding railway as part of the Thameslink Programme, with major track and signalling work between Charing Cross/Cannon Street and New Cross over the weekend, resulting in significant changes to Southeastern services.

In Kent, a major project to improve the railway through Sevenoaks tunnel will complete over Easter following initial work at Christmas. This two-mile long tunnel is the longest main line tunnel in the south east – and one of the wettest, which can cause problems for train services. Network Rail engineers will dig up and replace the drainage system through the tunnel, while also repairing brickwork and the lining of some of the 13 ventilation shafts within the tunnel.
easterworksJohn Halsall, Network Rail South East route managing director, said: “I would like to thank passengers for their patience while we use this opportunity, when the railway is quieter than usual, to continue our Railway Upgrade Plan and carry out the maintenance necessary to keep this busy stretch of railway safe for the millions of passengers that use it each year. There will be changes to services across the south east and I advise passengers to consider their options in advance and check before they travel this Easter.”

Ellie Burrows, Train Services Director at Southeastern, said: “Work to improve our railway continues this Easter bank holiday meaning some lines will be closed and some routes will be diverted to other stations. Please plan ahead, allow more time for your journey and check before you travel. Full details are available on our website, on our On Track app, or by picking up a leaflet from any of our stations.”

Angie Doll, Southern and Gatwick Express’ passenger services director, said: “We once again urge people to check before they travel. Easter Sunday is the biggest day of change for us as there will be no Gatwick Express trains, and most Southern services which normally serve Victoria will be diverted into London Bridge. Passengers travelling between Gatwick Airport and London will need to take a Southern train at London Bridge or a Thameslink service at Blackfriars.”

Elsewhere in the south east of England, Network Rail will undertake resignalling work between West Croydon and Epsom Downs from Friday 14 to Monday 17 April. Track maintenance will be underway between Paddock Wood and Strood from late Saturday night until the early hours of Monday 17 April, and also between Sittingbourne and Herne Bay/Dover and from Barnham to Bognor Regis, which will mean no trains on these routes on Sunday 16 April. Rail replacement services will be in place.

Information about changes to services over this time can be found at National Rail Enquiries Information about changes to Transport for London services can be found via


August 2017 – major changes to services:
Passengers are also reminded that significant work will take place over the August 2017 bank holiday and the four working days after.

There will be no Southeastern services to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge from Saturday 26 August to Saturday 2 September. This will mean fewer trains into London. The trains that do run will be diverted to alternative stations and are likely to be extremely busy. Some stations will have queueing systems in place.
Passengers will need to change their journey over these eight days. More information will be available from 10 June; please visit

Christmas and New Year:
From 23 December to 2 January, there will be major changes to services as the Thameslink Programme brings all remaining new platforms at London Bridge into use and the final section of the new concourse will open for passengers. This will mean further major changes at Christmas, with no trains at a number of London stations. Passengers on Southeastern, Thameslink and Southern trains will be significantly affected.

Changes to services between Good Friday 14 April and Easter Monday 17 April:

Southeastern passengers
• Major engineering work will be taking place between New Cross and Charing Cross/Cannon Street on behalf of the Thameslink Programme. This will mean significant journey changes for Southeastern passengers, with no Southeastern services to or from Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge – with the exception of Hastings trains – on Friday 14 and Saturday 15 April.
• There will also be no Southeastern trains to or from Cannon Street, Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park stations from Friday until Monday inclusive; trains will be diverted to Victoria or Blackfriars. This will coincide with the Greenwich Tall Ships event, so passengers will need to look at alternative routes if they wish to attend.

Southern passengers
• On Sunday 16 April there will be no Southern trains to or from London Victoria station, while Network Rail carries out maintenance on platforms 14 and 19. Rail replacement services will run between Victoria and Streatham Hill/East Croydon, with the majority of Southern services diverted to London Bridge.
• On Friday 14, Saturday 15 and Monday 17 April, buses will replace Southern trains between West Croydon and Epsom Downs; and on Saturday 15 April, Gatwick Express services will run only half-hourly between Victoria and Brighton calling at Gatwick Airport.
• On Easter Sunday, track refurbishment at Victoria station means there will be no Gatwick Express service and most Southern services will be diverted to and from London Bridge.