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  Network Rail
SUSSEX ROUTE: MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Introduction
Welcome to the February newsletter for the Sussex route at Network Rail.

So much work has been taking place - we hope you are enjoying the updates.  Your feedback, as always, is appreciated.  

Following the major investment in 2019 on the Brighton Mainline from Three Bridges to Brighton and the start of work on the development of Gatwick Airport train station this year, we are now moving into our long-term planning for Reigate, Norwood Junction and the wider Croydon Area Remodelling Scheme.  We welcome your continued interest in these projects as we work to provide a more reliable service for passengers.
 
Sussex: News on the route
 
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Putting Passengers First: Listening Exercise
You will recall in August 2019, we sought your views as a first step towards better understanding the views of our customers and stakeholders. We are focused on making changes to better suit the needs of our customers and are now conducting a six-monthly update to the survey to identify how we can further change and improve.  The feedback from the survey will continue to help shape our future work. We would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete the online survey  no later than Friday, 06 March 2020.
 
 
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Gatwick Airport Station Redevelopment
In the last issue, we shared with you the plans for the redevelopment of Gatwick Airport Station. Feedback has been really positive.  In order to undertake the work, a dedicated timetable will be in place from 17 May 2020.  Details are now live in journey planners. The timetable will ensure we can safely move passengers to and from Gatwick as we keep the station open during the project. Read more here.
 
 
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Reigate station proposals - have your say
We're proposing a new, 12-car turn back platform at Reigate station to provide greater capacity, a more reliable service and improved connections to Thameslink destinations in London and beyond.
 
The proposals are part of our long-term plans to run more reliable, more frequent and faster services on the Brighton Main Line and its branch lines.

Our proposals include:
  • Extending and widening existing platform 2
  • Laying track to create new platform 3 to accommodate up to 12-car trains
  • Power supply upgrades
  • A larger, improved car park, new access roads and additional designated parking bays.
We want to hear the views of passengers and local people and are seeking feedback on our proposals from Monday, 24 February to Monday, 6 April 2020.  You can have your say in person at our drop-in events or online.

Visit networkrail.co.uk/Reigate to find out how you can provide feedback on our plans.
 
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Norwood Junction station upgrade: strong support for proposals
In June 2019, we sought feedback from the public on our plans to upgrade Norwood Junction station to provide more frequent and reliable services and a modern, accessible station.

We were pleased with the overwhelming support from those who responded, with 94 per cent of comments indicating that people either agreed or strongly agreed with plans to upgrade the station.

The proposals would provide dedicated tracks for stopping and non-stopping services and four full length 12-car platforms. The new layout would allow more trains to run through and stop at the station, providing a major boost to reliability and the extra capacity needed to accommodate rising passenger numbers.  

The upgrade would also provide an opportunity to make the platforms step-free for the first time, improving accessibility for those with reduced mobility and those travelling with a pushchair or luggage.

The key areas of discussion at the event related to suggestions for station design and platform layout, improving train services, impact on passengers and requests for more information. 

More information on our proposals for Norwood Junction station, including a summary of feedback received, is available at networkrail.co.uk/NorwoodJunction
 
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Next Steps
We are continuing to work on our designs for Norwood Junction station using your feedback.

We are also progressing our wider proposals to unblock the Croydon bottleneck, including plans to rebuild East Croydon station and remodel the railway through the Selhurst triangle following our first round of formal consultation in 2018.

Working with key stakeholders, we are now making improvements to our designs. Further consultation will be held in in summer in the Croydon area and along the line of route. 

In the meantime, if you have any further questions regarding our proposals to provide more reliable, more frequent and faster services on the Brighton Main Line and its branches, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
 
 
 

Emergency weekend closure of Uckfield line between Ashurst and Hurst Green

To enable emergency engineering work, the Uckfield line will be closed between Ashurst and Hurst Green this weekend (Saturday, 29th February and Sunday, 1st March 2020). We recognise that this will be very inconvenient for our customers, but we must complete this essential work to prevent a major landslip and a much longer closure of the railway.

This emergency closure will enable our engineers to work to prevent a damaged embankment near Edenbridge from failing. A 30-metre section of this embankment has started to slip following Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. Trains have been able to continue to run with speed restrictions in place, but work is needed immediately to stop the line from being blocked completely in the event of further bad weather.

This weekend, engineers will install a steel wall to enable the line to reopen for the start of service on Monday, 2nd March with a speed restriction still in place. This is a temporary repair with a full repair to be planned and completed at a later date.

To support customers to continue to travel this weekend, tickets will be accepted on Southeastern services via Tunbridge Wells and GTR services via Lewes and Haywards Heath.

We are working to introduce a train between Uckfield and Ashurst and replacement bus services wherever possible across the route. Unfortunately, the number of landslips across the area means that availability of replacement buses is very limited, but we are working to source as many as possible and information for customers will be available tomorrow afternoon.

As a result, our current advice to customers is where possible to avoid travelling from Edenbridge Town, Hever, Cowden, Ashurst, Eridge, Crowborough, Buxted or Uckfield stations or to make alternative arrangements to travel from stations such as Tunbridge Wells or Lewes where ticket acceptance is in place.

Full information for customers on travel advice, refunds, ticket acceptance and alternatives where available will be available by 16:00 on Friday 28th February 2020 at www.southernrailway.com
 
 
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Network Rail launches action plan for working with small and medium businesses
Network Rail has published its plan of action for working more effectively and closely with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including through listening better to businesses.
The plan also considers how Network Rail will achieve the Government target of 33 per cent of its annual expenditure to be spent via SMEs by 2022. Read more here
 
Highways England work on the M23
In a break from railway updates, we regularly engage with our colleagues at Highways England to ensure are works are aligned. Highways England have confirmed several weekend road closures that will take place on the M23 between junction 8 – 10 starting 28 February 2020 for 5 weeks. Smart motorways reduce congestion and improve journey time reliability by making the hard shoulder available as a traffic lane and use variable speed limits to smooth traffic flow. They also add much needed capacity to some of the most congested parts of our network and support economic growth.

The amount of work involved to complete an all lanes running scheme goes far beyond just installing signs. Over these weekends the scheme will be carrying out the following:
  • Drainage installation and full carriageway reconstruction to multiple locations across the 8 lanes.
  • Installation of advanced directional signage and Technology equipment on the gantries
  • Carriageway realignments
Dates of the work and road diversions can be viewed M23closure.pdf . Please plan accordingly and if don't forget trains will be running during this period of roadworks. 
 
 
 
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