There will be no trains through Charlton for the next two weekends as Network Rail is closing the line between Deptford and Plumstead for engineering works.
Despite the major closure, there has been little publicity about the works, which will affect fans this Saturday heading to Charlton Athletic’s match against Middlesborough – a team that traditionally brings a strong away following.
Two buses per hour will run between Lewisham and Plumstead, instead of the eight-train Saturday service and six-train Sunday timetable.
The Charlton Champion has asked Network Rail why the line is being closed and we’ll update this story when it responds. Update Wednesday: A Network Rail spokesperson would only say that the closure was “part of the Kent and South East London upgrade programme”. (see further update below)
There will be normal Jubilee line services to North Greenwich on the first weekend when the line through Greenwich is closed; however, on 14 and 15 March it will be closed between Waterloo and Stanmore, which is likely to mean a less-frequent service on the rest of the line. Docklands Light Railway services are also disrupted on 14 and 15 March, with no trains to Bank.
Disruption will also occur on Sunday 22 March, with no trains from Charlton before 9.15am and no Thameslink trains at all scheduled to run through the station.
The closures will cap a month of weekend service reductions on the line, with Thameslink services being reduced last Sunday despite The Big Half half-marathon taking place in Greenwich.
However, Charlton passengers will escape most of the disruption at Easter, when all lines through Hither Green will be closed as part of a major signalling project.
Friday update: Network Rail belatedly sent us an update yesterday to say the works will “lay nearly a kilometre of new track, sleepers and ballast on the line”.
“The work will allow the removal of speed restrictions which have been put in place because of worn out track, helping to speed up trains, reduce delay and give passengers smoother, more reliable journeys. Closing the line during the weekend means that the work can be done safely, in less time.”
“Fiona Taylor, Route Director, Kent. Network Rail said:
“‘While infrastructure faults are down by 30 per cent on this part of the network, we know that even a minor incident in this incredibly congested area will have a major impact on the train service. That’s why our upgrade work is so important to ensuring trains run reliably.
“‘We know it’s inconvenient for passengers when we close the railway and would like to thank them for their patience while we do this important work. Most of the network is open as usual but please check your journey before travelling.'”
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