Network Rail announce major closures and diversions over Christmas

Network Rail has announced a major 10-day programme of closures and diversions over the Christmas period.

The railway company is advising Southeastern and London Overground passengers to plan ahead if travelling over Christmas due to railway track and signalling upgrades in South London.

For 10 days, from December 23, to January 1 – as well as several weekends before and after – the line between Herne Hill, Brixton and London Victoria will be closed and Southeastern services will be diverted into either Blackfriars, Cannon Street or Charing Cross.

Network Rail engineers will be upgrading a major railway junction in South London throughout the 10-day programme (Picture: Network Rail)

No trains will run on Christmas Day or Boxing Day due to the annual Christmas shutdown.

Over the same period, buses will replace London Overground trains between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction.

The weekend closures will take place on December 16 and 17, and again on January 6 and 7, and 13 and 14.

A major programme of track and signalling upgrades will be completed (Network Rail)

During this time, Network Rail’s team of engineers will be working to rebuild a critical rail junction between Clapham and Wandsworth that controls the movement of Southeastern and London Overground services in the area.

Over the 10-day period, engineers will replace 14 sets of switches and crossings – the moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another – with new equipment, lay more than 1,600 metres of new track and 1,000 metres of conductor rail.

When lines are closed Network Rail will also work on installing new signalling systems on the lines from Herne Hill and Nunhead into London Victoria. 

From December 23, a busy and critical rail junction between Clapham and Wandsworth will be rebuilt (Picture: Network Rail)

Drainage repairs, track maintenance and inspections will also be carried out during this time.

David Davidson, Network Rail Kent route director, said: “The work we are doing to the track is one of the biggest projects we’ve delivered over the past five years.

“We’ll make the most of the time when the railway is closed by doing as much work as possible.

“We know there is never a good time to close the railway, but lines are significantly quieter over the Christmas period and by doing the work over consecutive days we can also minimise disruption to passengers by getting it done in one go, rather than working over a long series of weekends.”

For more information on National Rail services over Christmas go to

Pictured top: Major railway junction and signalling upgrades will alter Southeastern and London Overground services this Christmas (Picture: Network Rail)

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