An Easter weekend and rail replacement buses. The two usually go hand in hand and across the South and South East this Easter weekend that will be the case.With people being urged to ‘stay local’ and passenger levels expected to be down compared to pre-pandemic Network Rail will be making the most of the long weekend to deliver multi-million pound improvements to region's rail network.So what’s happening and where?
A huge £150 million upgrade of the station will see work continue on realigning the tracks and improving the platforms. There will be a new concourse created at Gatwick and engineers will move forward with work to start construction while progress will be made on the installation of five lifts.Work on improving accessibility around the station will continue with track realignment and platform strengthening activity, which will allow wider platforms, more lifts, escalators and stairs to be installed.
Easter Sunday: Thameslink trains will run a reduced service and there will be no Southern trains between Gatwick Airport and Three Bridges, Bognor Regis and Portsmouth Harbour services will be diverted away from East Croydon Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and Crawley.
From Good Friday to Easter Monday work will take place in the Guildford area to replace four sets of switches and crossing, upgrade 12 signals and renew 365 metres of track.It’s ahead of next month will an upgrade programme at the station will be complete.
Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Monday: South Western Services will be replaced by buses between Clinton and Guildford, Portsmouth via Guildford services will terminate at Working, buses will run between Woking and Haslemere, Farnham to Guildford and there will be a reduced service between Haslemere and Portsmouth.
Easter Sunday: In addition Ascot to Guildford via Aldershot services will terminate at Aldershot.Buses will run between Aldershot and Guildford.
Engineering work is taking place in the Southampton area on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday: revised service between London Waterloo/Southampton Central, Brockenhurst/Bournemouth/Poole/Weymouth, buses will run between Southampton Airport Parkway/Bournemouth/Southampton Central/Brockenhurst and Romsey/Eastleigh via Southampton Central.
Sunday: London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Southampton Central, a revised service will run between Brockenhurst, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth, Salisbury to Romsey via Southampton services will run between Salisbury and Romsey only and buses will run between Southampton Airport Parkway/Bournemouth/Southampton Central/Brockenhurst and Romsey/Eastleigh via Southampton Central
The Hythe Road bridge in Dartford will be replaced and there will be no trains from the station all weekend. Tracks will also be replaced in the South East London with the aim of improving journey times.
Hastings to Tonbridge lineThere will be no service all weekend between Battle and Tunbridge Wells as strengthening work continues to prevent further landslips.Buses will also replace trains between Sittingbourne and Sheerness and there will be no service all weekend between Battle and Tunbridge Wells as engineers to try to strengthen the earthworks to prevent further earthworks.Shaun King, from Network Rail said,
"Network Rail will be working hard this Easter weekend to improve the railway in Sussex and provide better and more reliable services.
"Passengers have shown themselves to be incredibly understanding while we invest heavily to improve our railway and I’d like to thank them in advance for their support. I urge passengers to only travel if you have to and check your journey ahead of time."