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Christmas upgrade for London to Brighton line

Network Rail has announced £3M of upgrade works on the London-Brighton Line will take place over three days between Christmas and the New Year.
The work, at Earlswood in Surrey, is planned to ensure smoother, quieter journeys from the capital to the coast but will disrupt trains to and from Gatwick airport from Boxing Day until 29 December.Earlswood junction, a key point on a busy section of the London-Brighton Line, will be replaced during the engineering work. Other tasks include signal renewal and 1km of track improvement.Journeys will take longer during the work, and buses will replace trains in some cases.Network Rail Sussex route director Patrick Hallgate said: 'This investment will deliver significant long-term benefits for passengers travelling between London and Brighton. 'We appreciate that some people will be inconvenienced, but we hope that people will understand how important it is to secure the future of this busy route. 'We have been careful to plan the work when far fewer people are travelling, minimising disruption for passengers.'Figures show that during the Christmas week last year, the number of passengers using the Brighton Line was under a third of the weekly average for the period between January and March 2006.Gatwick Express managing director Peter Cotton said: 'We recognise that passengers will benefit from this investment. That is why we have liaised with Network Rail extensively on this project. 'Our main aim is to do all we can to ensure that passengers can travel to and from Gatwick as easily as possible while this essential work is carried out. We would urge anyone wishing to travel on the Gatwick Express between the 26 and 29 December to plan their journey, and consult the Gatwick Express website.' Network Rail said it would be displaying information at stations along the Brighton Line and at Gatwick Airport to ensure passengers have as much advance notice of the works as possible.Related links:Today's top stories

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