Buses to replace trains in South London over Easter as £89m upgrades rolled out

By Staff

Buses are set to replaces trains over Easter in South London as engineers work to get £89 million of upgrades over the line. Lines will be closed between Friday, March 29 and Monday, April 1.

Customers are also being urged to check before they travel across in Kent and Sussex as well as the south of the capital. In the South Croydon area, Whyteleafe level crossing will be upgraded with new electrical circuits that officials say will ‘extend the crossing’s life and improve performance’.

Between Balham and Beckenham Junction, engineers will replace life-expired switches and crossings as well as carrying out wheel timber renewals – the sections of wood that provide extra support to the rails – and preparing the area for the installation of the new signalling system in the future. Between Brixton Junction and Denmark Hill, work to support the new signalling will be completed with the installation of a new signal gantry across the track.

READ MORE: TfL Overground trains might not serve London Bridge after all

A spokesperson for Thameslink said: “This work is part of a major package of upgrades to modernise 1980s track and signalling on the South London lines into London Victoria station. During the line closure, some switches and crossings will also be refurbished and vegetation along the line will be cleared.”

In addition, at Hither Green, work to stabilise the embankment will see a 115 metre sheet pile wall installed, protecting the railway from soil and other debris falling from the embankment on to the railway and ‘improving reliability for passengers’. The track in this area will also be refurbished, including replacing the ballast.

Full list of service changes

Below is a full list of planned changes, according to rail officials.


The line between Lewes and Pevensey and Westham will be closed. Buses replace trains on the closed sections. The following bus services are planned to operate:

  • Two buses per hour Lewes – Polegate – Eastbourne
  • Two buses per hour Lewes – Polegate – Hampden Park – Eastbourne (this service does not run on Easter Sunday)
  • One bus per hour Lewes – Glynde – Berwick – Polegate – Hampden Park – Eastbourne
  • Two buses per hour Eastbourne – Hampden Park – Polegate – Pevensey and Westham then direct to Bexhill

A limited train service will operate from Pevensey and Westham, eastwards to Hastings/Ore with connections from there towards Ashford International.

Sunday, March 31 only

  • No Southern trains between Balham and Sydenham via Streatham Hill and Crystal Palace
  • There will be no replacement bus service but tickets will accepted on London Buses. This will mean no Southern trains will run via the Sydenham corridor (East Croydon to London Bridge via Sydenham). A special London Overground service will operate on Sunday 31 March instead
  • No trains will run between Purley and Caterham. Customers can use London Bus routes 407 and 434 between Purley and Caterham
  • No trains will run between Purley and Tattenham Corner. Rail replacement buses will run between Purley and Tattenham Corner
  • Trains between London Victoria and Reigate will run between Redhill and Reigate only


Friday, March 29 to Monday, April 1

  • No trains via Denmark Hill
  • There will be a replacement bus running from Herne Hill to Bromley South calling additionally at Beckenham Junction, but not at Nunhead or Ravensbourne


Friday, March 29

  • A Saturday service will run. There will be no trains via Denmark Hill. Accessible buses replace trains between Lewisham and Sidcup

Saturday, March 30

  • No trains via Denmark Hill. Accessible buses replace trains between Lewisham and Sidcup

Sunday, March 31

  • A Sunday service will run. There will be no trains via Denmark Hill, Faversham, Sidcup, or Borough Green and Wrotham.

Accessible buses replace trains between:

  • Lewisham and Dartford via Sidcup
  • Sittingbourne and Herne Bay
  • Sittingbourne and Canterbury East
  • Canterbury East and Dover
  • Sevenoaks and Maidstone East

Monday, April 1

  • A Saturday service will run. There will be no trains via Denmark Hill. Accessible buses replace trains between Lewisham and Sidcup

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