Network Rail has warned that it will not be able to reopen the railway line between Brixton and Beckenham Junction this morning as planned following its nine-day closure to replace tracks in the Penge Tunnel.

Affected line – overlay on London Rail Map

The works required the replacement of the rail ballast and tracks, and they had problems due to the narrowness of the tunnel as it was built in 1863 when train carriages were smaller. They also had to use specially adapted shorter sleepers to fit in the tunnel.

The works were due to be completed this weekend and the line reopened this morning.

However, a damaged cable was found inside the tunnel as the project team were doing checks overnight. Network Rail says that they are working to get this fixed as soon as possible but in the meantime, no trains can run between Shortlands and Victoria, via Penge East or Herne Hill through the morning.

As well as the damaged cable that was identified overnight, they need to complete other outstanding work through the course of the week, which will be done overnight when trains are not running.

However, this will result in changes to Southeastern services until Monday 8th August, and some stations will have a less frequent service.

The stations below will have two trains per hour to London Victoria via Herne Hill in peak times, reduced stopping service from four per hour:

  • Brixton
  • West Dulwich
  • Sydenham Hill
  • Shortlands and
  • Bromley South (Please note that some fast trains between Bromley South and London Victoria will leave two minutes earlier than the normal timetables)

The following stations will have three trains per hour at peak times to London Victoria, reduced stopping service from four per hour. Off-peak it will be one train per hour reduced from two:

  • St Mary Cray
  • Swanley

Penge Tunnel (c) Network Rail


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