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You are here: Home > Your journey > Station information > Uckfield line platform extensions

Uckfield line platform extensions

Uckfield Line Train & Platform Lengthening

Southern and Network Rail are working together to introduce 10-coach trains between Uckfield and London Bridge.  Southern's 12 additional carriages will effectively create 14 extra carriages overall during the morning peak as the first train arriving in London Bridge then returns to Uckfield arriving back again later in the peak. This will mean a 50% increase in capacity on the line during the morning peak.

The platform work

Before 10-coach trains can operate on this route, all 12 platforms from Edenbridge Town to Uckfield must be lengthened. Eight of the 12 platforms need to be doubled in length which is a considerable amount of work when compared with many other platform extensions projects previously delivered on the network.

Timescales

Permanent works started in September 2015.  The stations will be completed on a staggered basis between February and July 2016, at which point the longer trains will start to run.

What impact will the platform work have on passenger services?

This is a significant undertaking which requires some line closures in order to make the necessary improvements. Network Rail and Southern reviewed numerous options to establish the best way to do the work, to minimise disruption to passengers, and to incorporate as many other planned projects as possible. Our aim has been to limit extensive engineering work, whilst at the same time allowing the works to progress as quickly as possible so that passengers get the benefit of longer trains at the earliest opportunity.

With off peak line blockades completed in November 2015 and March 2016, and an all day closure south of Crowborugh completed on 19 February 2016, the remaining impact is summarised below:

  • There will be weekend closures from Hurst Green to Uckfield at various points and some overnight line closures, Monday to Thursday, from 2335 – 0440.

This staggered approach to the project means it will only affect areas when and where the specific works are taking place. It means the project will be delivered as soon as practically possible, with the least amount of people disrupted, compared to other closure options that were reviewed.

Dates by site

  • Hever February – May 2016 (compound for main site office to be set up in July 2015)
  • Edenbridge Town – Sept 15 – Feb 16
  • Eridge – Aug 15 – Jul 16
  • Cowden – Sept 15 – Feb 16
  • Uckfield – Oct 15 – Mar 16
  • Crowborough Nov 15 – Jul 16
  • Buxted Nov 15 – Apr 16
  • Ashurst Feb – May 16

Site compounds at each site will be set up 2-3 weeks before the works begin on the platform.

Work by site 

  • Edenbridge Town: both platforms to be extended by 114m to country end
  • Hever: both platforms to be extended by 114m to London end
  • Cowden: platform to be extended by 115m to London end
  • Ashurst: both platforms to be extended by 114m to country end
  • Eridge: platform to be extended by 100m to London end
  • Crowborough: both platforms to be extended by 87m to country end
  • Buxted: platform to be extended by 115m to London end
  • Uckfield: platform to be extended by 56m to London end

Questions you may have:

Why didn't the work start sooner?

There was a lot of preparation work and design to be done before the platform extensions could be built. Network Rail has carried out surveys of the sites to identify exactly what infrastructure equipment needs to be moved out of the way, and find new positions for it.

It has also had an ecologist walk over each site to understand whether there is any flora or fauna that needs care when works start on site, including any endangered and protected species. Three of the eight stations have ponds inhabited by great crested newts, and other stations have dormice hibernating in the undergrowth. Network Rail put plans in place to protect the dormice, relocate the newts (found near three stations), and to avoid disturbing nesting birds. Where newts had to be relocated, platform construction could only start from November 2015.

In addition to the ecological works, Network Rail had to buy some land at Hever station, and make arrangements at each station to set up a site compound and storage area. At some sites this could be on station land, at other sites agreement was required with private landowners.

Have you got the extra trains and when will they be in service?

The major refurbishment of 12 extra diesel coaches - which will be used to make peak time trains on the Uckfield line longer - is nearing completion. 

The units are undergoing corrosion repair and external painting following an initial major overhaul by our engineers at Selhurst depot in south London. This included work on the engines, the wheelsets, modifications to the driver’s cab system, a full internal refurbishment of the carriages and new electronics to allow the additional units to 'communicate' with our current trains.  A final phase of engineering work is required to overhaul the doors, fit new couplers and reconfigure them into 4 and 2-carriage units.

We expect the refurbished units to be ready to coincide with the completion of the platforms in July 2016 when we will be able to run longer trains on the line.