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 Ashford International and Maidstone East during a nine day closure.
If you plan to travel on these dates you should leave extra time for your journey.
Passengers can travel by train with Southeastern between Ashford International and London mainline stations using services via Tonbridge at no extra cost. Extra trains are running during the closure but you will need to change if you want to go to Victoria.
People who usually park at either Bearsted, Harrietsham or Lenham stations could drive to Maidstone East or Ashford International to park and catch a train there.
National Rail ticket acceptance is also in place on the London Underground between Cannon St, Charing Cross and Victoria. Please note that Cannon St tube station is closed between 7 – 12 August but during this period you can use your ticket from Bank instead.
For more information on the underground closure visit the TfL website.
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.