• A multimillion-pound project to upgrade 1980s railway equipment means no trains through Horsham for nine days this summer, and several weekends between July and October
  • An extra £5m investment was announced today to improve stations, track and signalling
  • Passengers travelling between Arundel and Three Bridges via Horsham, and between Horsham and Dorking are advised to check their journeys before travelling as buses will replace trains on the affected dates
  • Passengers can look forward to improved stations and better, more reliable journeys following the work

Passengers can look forward to more reliable journeys on the Arun Valley line and better stations too as Network Rail announces an additional £5m investment. The work will be delivered over a nine-day closure from Saturday 14 August to Sunday 22 August, and several weekends between July and October.

The extra investment announced today will see stations along the Arun Valley line deep cleaned and refurbished, track circuits replaced (the part of the signalling system that detects trains), and the renewal of sections of track at Pulborough, Warnham and Barnes Green brought forward into the nine-day closure.

These additional improvements will be delivered alongside the replacement of nine sets of switches and crossings at Horsham (the movable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another) and the installation of a new crossover on the approaches to Horsham station to provide greater flexibility. Essential drainage work to help reduce the risk of flooding on the line will also be completed.

When the work is being delivered, no trains will run on routes through Horsham.

Buses will replace trains along much of the Arun Valley Line, from Arundel and Three Bridges via Horsham, and between Horsham and Dorking. There will also be three weekends of engineering line closures in July and a further two weekend closures in September and October.

Enabling work with weekend closures affecting all trains via Horsham:

  • Sunday 11 July
  • Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 July
  • Saturday 31 July – Sunday 1 August 2021

Nine-day closure affecting all trains via Horsham:

  • Saturday 14 August – Sunday 22 August (inclusive)

Follow-up work with weekend closures affecting all trains via Horsham:

  • Saturday 4 September – Sunday 5 September
  • Sunday 3 October

Passengers wishing to travel along the Arun Valley line on these dates will need to allow considerably more time for their journeys and should expect to use either diverted trains via longer routes or a replacement bus or coach to connect with rail services.

Network Rail Southern region’s investment director Paul Harwood said:

“Network Rail is committed to making journeys better for passengers and this project will help to improve the reliability of services on the Arun Valley line. By doing the work over a nine-day closure, we can not only get essential work done more quickly with less overall disruption to passengers but deliver more improvement work than traditional weekend access approaches allow. 

“Which is why today we were able to announce an extra £5m investment to improve stations, signalling and track along the whole line, as well as deliver essential upgrades to track at Horsham. 

“I’d like to also thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these important works. We are working with Southern, Thameslink and stakeholders so people are aware of the changes to their journeys.”

 Chris Fowler, Southern’s Customer Services Director, said:

“Network Rail’s work programme is absolutely essential to improve reliability for customers on our network.

“We’ll be running replacement bus services, and trains will continue to run along the West Sussex coastal route and between Brighton and London. That does mean journeys will take considerably longer than normal, so please make a note of these dates, and check journey planners for details of the alternative arrangements nearer the time.”

Passengers wishing to travel on these dates will need to allow considerably more time for their journeys and should expect to use either diverted trains via longer routes or a replacement bus or coach to connect with rail services to the South Coast.

What work is taking place?

  • A section of rail, sleepers, ballast and drainage will be renewed at Horsham station including nine sets of switches and crossings
  • Track improvement work at Pulborough, Warnham and Barnes Green (Barnes Green Level Crossing will be closed from Thursday 19 August to Sunday 22 August)
  • In depth inspection and maintenance work will be carried out across 43 miles of closed track during the 9-day line closure
  • Replacing track circuits (the part of the signalling system that detects trains) along the Arun Valley, and replacing signal heads between Horsham and Crawley
  • Deep cleaning, refurbishing, decorating and essential maintenance of all closed stations – Crawley, Ifield, Faygate, Littlehaven, Holmwood, Ockley, Horsham, Christs Hospital, Billingshurst, Pullborough, Amberley, Arundel
  • Work at Ockley station to stabilise the cutting by installing a sheet piled wall which will help to prevent landslips, improving safety for both the railway users and lineside neighbours
  • Enabling work for the upgrade of Parsonage Road level crossing to a full barrier CCTV crossing to improve safety, and recontrol of Littlehaven signal box to the Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in June 2022

Customers can find out more about the project at www.networkrail.co.uk/ArunValley. The site will also be updated with detailed travel advice when alternative travel options are published.