Highlights of the work completed during the 9-day line closures – Balcombe Tunnel Junction renewal

  • Extensive drainage works in Balcombe Tunnel: The Victorian brick culvert drainage system in one of the South East’s longest railway tunnels had a build-up of silt and other debris, along with damage to brickwork. This compromised the drainage system and led to flooding, which in turn caused signalling and power supply problems
  • Balcombe Tunnel Junction: Renewed and upgraded this junction, replacing 600 metres of track, improving the layout of the junction and replacing switches and crossings, which allow trains to easily move tracks
  • A complete renewal and upgrade of the lineside signalling and power systems between Haywards Heath and Preston Park, with more reliable, modern high-tech equipment
  • Extensive work at stations, including platform improvements, cleaning, repainting waiting rooms, ticket offices and station buildings, repairing and replacing footbridges, and repairing fencing as well as tidying up plants and hedgerows.

Below is just some of the work carried out during the weekend closures:

  • Balcombe Station – Footbridge foundations prepared
  • Balcombe Station to Copyhold Junction – 2.3 miles of conductor ‘third’ rail renewed. Over 1000 yards of ballast cleaned. A number of minor track faults repaired reducing the liklihood of Temporary Speed Restrictions
  • Balcombe Tunnel Junction – preparatory work, including constructing new switch panels and signal bases, in readiness for work during the 9-day closure
  • Balcombe Tunnel – structure inspected and initial drainage work
  • Balcombe Tunnel & Haywards Heath – High Output Ballast Cleaning. Ballast is the aggregate stone, gravel forming the track bed on which sleepers and track are laid to ensure stability and proper drainage
  • Clayton Tunnel –  work for the track renewals completed consisting of securing 1400 yards of cable and clearing 1000 yards of scrap rail; 650 yards of track renewal completed
  • Clayton to Montpellier – signalling and cabling works
  • Cooksbridge – re-railing completed
  • Cooksbridge Station –  surveys at the station
  • Haywards Heath Station – four signal heads were converted to LED, re-railing in Haywards Heath Tunnel
  • Haywards Heath to Keymer Junction – signal head changes and signalling installed
  • Haywards Heath to Preston Park – 3 km of cables laid and signalling installation
  • Haywards Heath to Wivelsfield – Preparation for drainage works
  • Keymer Junction area – re-railing through Keymer level crossing and removal of numerous rail defects, and removal of wetbeds in Wivelsfield station
  • Keymer Junction to Plumpton – signal head changes complete
  • Patcham to Preston Park – signalling installation
  • Preston Park – improved track formation on platform 2
  • Streat Green (Plumpton Racecourse) – Underbridge renewed
  • Three Bridges – two signal heads were changed and track circuits replaced
  • Three Bridges to Balcombe Tunnel Junction – signal head changes
  • Wivesfield – successfully integrated 610 yards of ballast cleaning
  • Wivesfield/Haywards Heath – two signals and a banner converted to LED operation and ballast cleaning
  • Wivelsfield Station – Cleaning of the station



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