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New signalling for Hither Green 

The railway through Hither Green in South East London will be closed for nine days from Saturday 25 July to Sunday 2 August 2020, as Network Rail completes critical signalling upgrades in the area. 

The 1970s signalling system, which controls the movement of trains on the Sidcup line, the mainline through Grove Park, and the Bromley North branch, is being completely replaced with a modern, more reliable system. This is part of the £1.25bn South East Upgrade.

Travel advice 

We strongly advise that you avoid travelling at peak times during the re-signalling work if possible. If you have to travel then tickets will be accepted on alternative rail routes and a replacement bus service will be available. There may be queues for the bus at busy times and your journey will take longer.

As there is limited capacity on TfL buses due to social distancing, only Travelcards and Pay as You go (PAYG) will be accepted. National Rail only tickets will not be accepted. 

You will also be able to use Travelcards and PAYG on the London Underground if required. Paper tickets (single, daily or season) will also be accepted between Southeastern’s London terminus stations. Victoria, Blackfriars, Charing Cross, Southwark, Cannon Street and London Bridge.

Normal service will resume on Monday 3 August 2020. 

We have produced a station-by-station travel advice tool – please click on the link below find out what is happening at your station. 

Travel advice tool


Why do the work now as the lockdown is easing?

The new signalling system was going to be switched on over the four-day Easter bank holiday weekend but it was postponed because technicians can’t work closely together for long periods due to social distancing.

By following the social distancing guidance, it’s going to take longer than it normally would to complete the job. That’s why we need the nine-day line closure. We’ve agreed with our partner Network Rail that the start of the traditional school summer holidays is a suitable time to complete the work. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Why is this work important?

The signalling system that covers the Hither Green area is outdated and needs be replaced. Faults are common, which cause delays for our passengers and freight trains. It’s also expensive and difficult to maintain as the spare parts needed for repairs are hard to find.

The new system will also mean Network Rail can close the London Bridge Area Signalling Centre (ASC) that opened in 1975. It will move signalling control of the Hither Green area to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges Route Operating Centre. 

Staff currently working at London Bridge ASC will move to other signal boxes on the network or retire, which a number had planned to do after Easter. 

List of directly affected stations where bus replacement will be in place. - 

 Albany Park  Reduced service
 Bexley           Reduced service
 Bromley North  Station closed
 Chislehurst  Station closed
 Crayford  Reduced service
 Elmstead Woods  Station closed
 Grove Park  Station closed
 Hither Green  Station closed
 Lee           Station closed
 Lewisham  Service changes
 Mottingham  Station closed
 New Eltham  Station closed
 Orpington  Reduced service
 Petts Wood  Reduced service
 Sidcup  Reduced service
 Sundridge Park  Station closed

Passenger Survey

If you have a few minutes spare, please complete the survey below. Your feedback will help us to keep you informed about any disruption in future.
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South East Upgrade

You can find out more details about the Hither Green work on the Network Rail site

This project is part of our partnership with Network Rail in the South East Upgrade.

A £1.25 billion investment in track, signalling, embankments, bridges, station and depots to give passengers travelling in Kent and South East London better journeys, with fewer delays and keep people moving for decades to come.

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