Ten weeks of Blackheath Tunnel repairs to cause train disruptions

Ten weeks of essential repairs to Blackheath tunnel will begin next month causing rail disruptions and diversions.

No trains will run between Blackheath and Charlton from June 1 for 10 weeks, so Network Rail engineers can carry out repairs on the 175-year-old tunnel.

Southeastern trains which normally run through the tunnel will also be diverted through other routes during the closure.

Blackheath Tunnel is one mile long and prone to leaks (Picture: Network Rail)

The tunnel will reopen on August 12 when services between Blackheath and Charlton will resume.

Works on the tunnel will include replacing tens of thousands of bricks damaged by the freezing and thawing rainwater and installing a new concrete tunnel lining to stop water leaks.

David Davidson, Network Rail’s Kent route director, said: “Working consecutively over 10 weeks means we can reduce the overall disruption to passengers and give them reliability improvements sooner. The alternative would have been a year of weekend closures. 

Aerial view of Blackheath Tunnel entrance (Picture: Network Rail)

“We look to manage the impact of work on railway neighbours, carrying out any noisy activities during the day, but with the tunnel more than 20metres underground any noise and vibration from the work will be minimal. 

“We’re really grateful to passengers and neighbours for their patience and are working closely with Southeastern to make sure everyone understands the changes and the impact on their journeys.” 

Pictured top: Network Rail workers repair Blackheath Tunnel (Picture: Network Rail)

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