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Passengers must ‘plan ahead this Easter’ as Network Rail begins £10m improvements

There will be changes to Thameslink, Southern, London Overground and Southeastern services over the long weekend, with diversions and rail replacement buses on some routes.

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Passengers in the South East are reminded to check before travelling by train this Easter as Network Rail is set to carry out a £10m programme of work to improve the region’s rail network.

Around 2,000 engineers will be working round the clock over the long weekend on a range of projects to boost reliability and safety on busy commuter routes. This includes improvements to Sevenoaks tunnel in Kent, bringing new signalling equipment – which controls the safe running of trains – into use through Mitcham and Sutton and laying new track between New Cross and Norwood Junction.

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As a result there will be some changes to Thameslink, Southern, London Overground and Southeastern services over the long weekend, with diversions and rail replacement buses on some routes.

The biggest impacts will be:

  • No Southern or London Overground trains between London Bridge and West Croydon via New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace all day Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday (30 March and 1 April), thanks to new track being laid between New Cross Gate and Norwood Junction. Thameslink’s Saturday service between London Bridge and Brighton will not run either. Only a limited Southern service will operate to / from London Bridge with trains operating via Peckham Rye. There will be no direct service between London Bridge and East Croydon on Easter Saturday.
  • Buses replace Southeastern trains between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks from Good Friday until the start of service on Tuesday date. Trains between London Charing Cross and Hastings will divert via East Croydon. This is as a result of new track being laid in Sevenoaks Tunnel.
  • New signalling system being commissioned around the Sutton Loop and Mitcham Junction area, meaning no Southern trains between Streatham and Epsom and also between West Croydon and Sutton / Epsom Downs. Thameslink trains will run between Luton and London Blackfriars only. This project lasts from 23.00 on Thursday until the start of service on Tuesday April 3.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s South East route managing director, said:

“The railway in the South East is the busiest in the country, delivering hundreds of thousands of people to and from work each day and helping support and drive the region’s economy. It also means we have to carry out a more intensive programme of maintenance and renewals than other areas to keep people moving safely and reliably, which is what we’re doing this Easter weekend.

“The work we do really is essential to keeping people and goods moving in the South East and bank holidays are a quieter time, meaning we’re able to keep disruption to passengers to a minimum. There will still be some changes to services, so please do check before you travel.”

Stuart Cheshire, Passenger Services Director at Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Thameslink and Southern, said:

“Passengers need to plan ahead this Easter while Network Rail carries out this essential work. Visit our websites or nationalrailenquiries.com.”

Ellie Burrows, Southeastern’s Train Services Director, said:

“Work to improve our railway continues this Easter bank holiday, and working together in partnership with Network Rail, we’re investing to deliver the essential maintenance that we need for a more reliable railway in London and the South East. I’d encourage all our passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel by following us on Twitter @SE_railway, or checking our On Track app or website for the latest information.”

Other changes to services in and around London include:

  • Euston station will be partially closed. On Saturday 31 March and Monday 2 April a reduced service will be in place for London Northwestern Railway passengers. On Sunday 1 April passengers are advised to use the Jubilee line between London and Stanmore. There will be no train services out of Euston for Virgin Trains West Coast on Sunday 1 April
  • Crossrail East works continue in the Shenfield area disrupting travel in and out of Liverpool Street on the Great Eastern main line to Norwich
  • Services to London Waterloo and Windsor/Reading will be diverted between 30 March – 2 April
  • Crossrail West works continue impacting services in and out of London Paddington from 30 March – 2 April

Keep up to date with all the latest news.

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Charity

Crawley School raises an incredible £13,250 for local charity

Oriel High School students raised the huge sum through a charity walk.

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Oriel High School students chose The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre which is attached to Crawley Hospital as their chosen charity for their sponsored walk this year.

The students managed to raise an astounding £13,250.

Alyson Smith, Fundraising manager for Olive Tree Cancer Support was presented with a cheque with more money still coming in.

Alyson said:

“As a small charity this is such amazing news to us. The Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre is a small, independent charity based in Crawley which has provided free support, advice, friendship and therapies to thousands of people in the local area and is a hugely valuable and much appreciated resource.

The Olive Tree, which began as a small cancer support group over 21 years ago in Crawley, provides a haven: somewhere to go and be with people who understand and can help. Our team of 85 volunteers offers free information, advice and therapeutic care to support all those affected by cancer from the point of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. The Olive Tree supports the friends, families and carers as well as the individual experiencing cancer.”

The charity offer complementary and emotional support therapies. They say the complementary therapies can help to reduce stress, alleviate the side effects of cancer treatments and enhance feelings of well-being. They also offer acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage, reflexology, craniosacral therapy and Reiki.

Their emotional support is offered through counselling, art counselling, coaching, hypnotherapy and mindfulness workshops and they also run several support groups, which provide an informal environment for people to come together and support.

The charity also point out that their range of services is continually evolving and currently includes yoga, singing workshops, and a wig scheme.

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