In late July, the railway between Brixton and Beckenham Junction will be closed for 9-days as Network Rail carry out a major upgrade of the tracks in the Penge railway tunnel.

Over the 9-day closure Network Rail says that it will be delivering a £4.5 million investment to replace the tracks through the Penge tunnel to help improve train service reliability. During the works, they will be replacing 3,970 metres of track in total, using engineering trains, road-rail vehicles and other heavy machinery to complete the work.

As a result, they’re warning that the railway will be closed between Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st July 2022. That’s the classic working week of 25th to 29th July, if you’re thinking of booking the week off work.

The closure is expected to mean no trains at all at West Dulwich (use Tulse Hill), Sydenham Hill (use Gipsy Hill), Penge East (use Penge West), and Kent House (use Clock House) stations. Brixton and Herne Hill stations will remain open as they serve other lines as well.

Affected line – overlay on London Rail Map

The alternative stations near the closure are likely to be busier than usual as people swap lines to get to work. More details about alternative transport options will be provided by Network Rail and Southeastern closer to the date.

Network Rail says that the alternative to a 9-day blockade of the line would require at least double that amount of weekend closures. As the work is disruptive to local residents, compressing it into a shorter time frame means less annoyance for residents. With rail travel now busier at weekends than during the week, it’s also a reality that these sorts of weekday blockades will affect fewer people than traditional weekend closures.

Although the main work is on the Penge tunnel, Network Rail says that it will look to take advantage of the closure to carry out maintenance work along the rest of the line and stations as well.

Penge Tunnel (c) Network Rail


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  1. Evergreenadam says:

    Brixton stays open for a one stop shuttle to Victoria?

  2. Julian says:

    Or maybe the Orpington services divert after Brixton and take a different route to Beckenham Junction.

    • Rob says:

      You’d struggle to get much frequency down the single track via Birkbeck, on top of the current regular service, nor through Tulse Hill, I’d imagine. Maybe it means there will be a Victoria-Brixton-Herne Hill shuttle, but then that’s not a closure from “Brixton to Beckenham Junction”. I think what’s more likely is that the intended meaning was that Brixton underground station will still be open.

    • Jasper T. says:

      Or they might divert service to Denmark Hill, Peckham Rye, Nunhead, Crofton park, Ravensbourne before proceeding to Bromley South.

  3. James Miller says:

    There has been talk in the past, that Transport for London want to create a Penge Interchange between the Overground and National Rail, where the two lines cross.

    I think this would be a good idea, especially as the Overground will connect to Crossrail at Whitechapel.

    Will Network Rail be doing a proper survey, whilst the trains aren’t running?

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