Uckfield Line rail disruption – here come the buses

Buses will replace the trains on off-peak Uckfield Line services from today (Monday, November 2) until November 27.

The line will be closed between Hurst Green and Uckfield, Monday to Friday, between 09.20 and 16.40, with changes to last trains Monday to Thursday.

It means the last train out will be the 08.34 from Uckfield with the first train back from London Bridge departing at 16.08.

In between buses will be used.

The timetable below has been issued by Southern, whose copyright we acknowledge. Click to enlarge.

Bus timetable

The closures are to allow work to proceed on lengthening platforms along the line to take ten-carriage trains.

Next year there will be further day-time line closures and a blockade for six weeks from January 4.

Train operator Southern has an additional 12 diesel carriages, previously used by Scotrail.

In a statement the company said: “They are being put through a multi-million pound internal and external overhaul to make them compatible with the current diesel fleet, and fit for purpose.

New trains look same but technically different

“We know this will include at least work on the engines and wheelsets, as well as modifications to make the trains compatible with the existing diesel fleet, such as changes to the door mechanisms, driver’s cab system and couplers, and new electronics to allow the additional units to ‘communicate’ with our current trains which at the moment they are unable to.

“This is a complex task as the trains, whilst looking similar to the existing diesel fleet, are technically very different.”

Southern’s 12 additional carriages will effectively create 14 extra carriages overall during the morning peak as the first train arriving in London Bridge then returns to Uckfield arriving back again later in the peak.

This will mean a 50% increase in capacity on the line during the morning peak.

• This story first appeared on Uckfield News on October 1, 2015.

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