Delays to Southern and Gatwick Express in and out of Victoria station have more than halved since a new signalling system was switched on last Christmas, according to Network Rail analysis.

(c) Network Rail

The new signalling came into use on the lines between Balham, Clapham Junction and London Victoria (platforms 9-19) last Christmas. replacing increasingly unreliable equipment that dates back to the 1980s.

This work is part of Network Rail’s wider London Victoria South London resignalling programme in which engineers are completing a major package of upgrades to modernise outdated track and signalling on the South London lines into London Victoria. This includes upgrades at a number of major junctions in the area, including at Clapham Junction where track improvements have increased line speeds and improved train performance.

That’s why the lines have been closed so often over holidays and weekends over the past couple of years.

The benefits are starting to be felt though – as delays have reduced from a peak of 4,000 per month in the year before the new signalling became operational last Christmas to as low as 1,800 per month this year.

That’s a decline of 55% in signalling faults – equating to about 36 hours a month of delays that no longer happen.

Upgrades to the track and equipment – particularly at Clapham Junction – have increased line speeds and helped improve train punctuality. Fewer faults in the modernised section also means that Network Rail’s maintenance teams that were managing the Victoria station approach can now be redeployed to focus on other areas of the railway in need of maintenance and repairs.

Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail’s Sussex route director, said: “We’re looking forward to achieving similar improvements for passengers from signalling upgrades in the Crystal Place, Tulse Hill and Peckham area which are under way and set to finish in February 2024, and signalling upgrades between Nunhead, Battersea and Herne Hill, which will come to an end in 2025.”

“We know that the changes to services to support the delivery of this work are disruptive and we’re sorry to any passengers whose journeys are disrupted during this time. Please rest assured the new signalling and track upgrades will deliver tangible benefits for passengers travelling today and long into the future.”


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  1. ChrisC says:

    Delays are also reduced when you reduce the number of services!

  2. Dan says:

    Is there any provision for future signalling upgrades to ETCS?

  3. Clive Page says:

    I think the delays have simply moved across to the Thameslink line. In recent months reliabily has been much worse.

  4. Bob says:

    So now only 1800 delays a month? Cosmic

  5. Dave says:

    They’ve also added about 10 mins onto the journey times from the south coast, with lots of slack in the timetable. My train now sits at Gatwick for 5 minutes most mornings. Easy way to reduce delays – build them into the timetable.

  6. Sarah Taylor says:

    Of course there are less delays as half the time the trains aren’t running or are on a reduced timetable. What is the percentage of delays? That would be far more telling

  7. Bernard Crocker says:

    Cheam station used to have four train per hour to Victoria.Now it has two, which means only two trains per hour can be delayed instead of four. Makes the figures much better.

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