Barnehrust landslip 2016
This landslip in 2016 halted services on the Bexleyheath line (photo: Network Rail)

Network Rail is to hold drop-in sessions for passengers in the coming weeks as it gears up for a nine-day closure of the rail line through Eltham and Bexleyheath for work to stop landslips.

The route between Blackheath and Dartford will close from Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 February, with no services at Kidbrooke, Eltham, Falconwood, Welling, Bexleyheath and Barnehurst stations. Other stations on adjacent lines will see fewer trains as part of the closure, which is to allow earthworks to take place at Barnehurst.

There will also be a closure on the Bexleyheath line on the weekend of 11 and 12 January, and later closures after the half-term blockade to enable follow-up work to take place.

Network Rail staff will begin holding “face-to-face information sessions” at Bexleyheath line stations from Monday, and will hold a series of drop-in sessions too:

  • Monday 25 November, 4pm-8pm: St Martin’s Church, Erith Road, Barnehurst DA7 6LE
  • Tuesday 26 November, 4pm to 8pm: One Space Community Café, Kidbrooke Park Road, SE3 9YY
  • Monday 2 December, 4pm to 8pm: St Mary’s Community Centre, Eltham, SE9 1BJ
  • Tuesday 10 December, 4pm to 8pm: Welling Library, Bellegrove Road, Welling, DA16 3PA

Proposed details of the train services that will run when the Bexleyheath line is closed were released by the Lewisham & Bexleyheath Community Rail Partnership, a travellers’ group, earlier this month. These have yet to be confirmed.

  • Cannon Street to Cannon Street via Bexleyheath and Greenwich circular services (and vice versa) will be cancelled, though peak time journeys between Slade Green & Cannon Street via Greenwich will still run
  • Charing Cross to Dartford via Bexleyheath are diverted via Woolwich Arsenal and will call additionally at Woolwich Arsenal and Abbey Wood. Some services will also call at other stations at peak times.
  • Victoria to Gravesend via Bexleyheath services are diverted via Sidcup calling at all stations and will terminate at Dartford. Some peak services will run via Woolwich in order to serve Blackheath.
  • A reduced service will operate from New Cross, St Johns, Lewisham, Blackheath & Dartford. Services which are operating may be busier as a result. There will be no direct services from Blackheath to Cannon Street. Passengers will be need to change at London Bridge instead.

Proposed replacement buses are:

  • Lewisham – Kidbrooke – Eltham – Falconwood – Welling – Bexleyheath – Barnehurst – Slade Green (2 buses an hour, all day)
  • Abbey Wood – Bexleyheath – Welling – Abbey Wood (4 buses an hour, peak hours)
  • Mottingham – Eltham – Falconwood – Mottingham (4 buses an hour, peak hours)
  • Barnehurst to Slade Green (2 buses an hour, peak hours)
  • Lewisham – Kidbrooke – Eltham (2 buses an hour, peak hours)

Network Rail is asking passengers to fill in a survey about the work and is offering email updates about the scheme.

Landslips at Barnehurst have crippled services on the line four times in the past decade, most recently in February, which halted all services for a week. Engineers plan to remove 2,500 tonnes of mud and trees and install retaining walls with steel beams to protect the route for 120 years.

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