Train services on the Brighton line have returned to normal after nine days of major engineering work.
The line was closed on 16th February between Three Bridges and Brighton and Three Bridges and Lewes until 25th February.
A fleet of 250 buses were laid on in the biggest bus replacement operation in the country.
WATCH: Time lapse of work completed in Balcombe in Sussex during major engineering work
I’d like to say thank you to the passengers who have been disrupted by this crucial work, which is one of the biggest projects we’ve ever undertaken. I know it’s been difficult for them and I am really grateful that so many changed their plans for the week to enable us to concentrate the work in this way. The alternative would have been 84 separate weekend closures, so this has been much more effective for them as well as for us. It will be worth it in the long run as we’ve been able to complete major work to the ageing infrastructure which has caused so many delays in the past, as well as repairs in the Victorian-era tunnels which were prone to flooding. All of this means we can provide a more reliable service that passengers deserve and can depend on.”
passengers use this part of the line every day
Network Rail says new signals, track and work to tunnels should bring improvements for passengers.
The engineering work was part of a £300 million government-funded programme to tackle delay hotspots and hopes to boost reliability of the railway in the south east, including the expanded Thameslink network.
Network Rail says this section of railway was 'responsible for more delays to Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink passengers than any other'.
Despite completion of engineering work, Network Rail has warned passengers of four planned weekend closure between Three Bridges and Brighton in March and April.
Saturday 2 & Sunday 3
Saturday 23 & Sunday 24
Saturday 30 & Sunday 31
Saturday 6 & Sunday 7
Sunday 5 (between 1.20am-9.30am)