Line closure for landslip repairs
From Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 August 2021 the line between Ashford and Maidstone East will be closed
Reinforcing of Bearsted cutting to prevent future landslips taking place
Line closure details
From Saturday 7 to Sunday 15 August 2021 (inclusive) buses will replace trains between Maidstone East and Ashford International stations. The timetable for buses during the work in August will be published shortly and there are scheduled to be two buses per hour.
There will also be a replacement bus service – two buses per hour – between Maidstone East and Ashford International on the weekends below while preparation work is carried out for the main closure in August.
- Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 July (Maidstone East to Ashford)
- Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July (Maidstone East to Ashford)
If you plan to travel on these dates you should allow more time for your journey.
You can find more details about timetable changes by selecting the relevant dates in the calendar available on our planned engineering work page.
Benefits of the work
Network Rail engineers will be reinforcing Bearsted cutting to prevent landslips, as well as improving drainage and signalling in the area. This will help to deliver better, more reliable journeys.
Line closures are always a last resort, but extreme weather is having a significant impact on the Victorian railway embankments.
In the past decade, there have been several incidences of unplanned disruption as engineers have been sent to the Bearsted cutting site to urgently fix weather-related earth movements. New Year’s Day 2021 was the most recent landslip due to heavy rain in the area.
The benefit of condensing the reinforcement work into nine days in August means that there won’t be multiple weekends over the course of a year when we can’t run trains. The repairs will help to improve performance while removing the need for speed restrictions in future.
- More than 2,000 soil nails to be installed into a section of the cutting at Bearsted, as well as signalling power maintenance work.
- Earthworks drainage at Ham Hill, Childbridge Lane and Tile Lodge.
- Power feeder renewals at Hollingbourne, Harrietsham, Charing.
- Power feeder renewals, earthworks drainage, track drainage, signalling power work at Lenham.
- To provide additional benefits to passengers Network Rail will also be looking at options to carry out other maintenance work at our stations when they are closed.
You can find out more about the work of the Network Rail engineers here.
Helping to keep you informed about planned improvement work
We want to keep people fully informed about the closure so that they can make alternative arrangements where necessary.
If you have five minutes to take the short survey from Network Rail it will help with our planning.