Advance warning of South London rail disruption in February half term

Network Rail will be completing a major [1] upgrade in February 2024, and is advising rail passengers in South [2] to plan ahead.

During the nine days of half term week (Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February), train services will be disrupted on parts of the [3] and London Overground networks.

Network Rail is suggesting the following alternatives:

  • Thameslink passengers travelling between [16], Wimbledon and Sutton: use London Buses or alternative National Rail, London Trams or London Underground routes.
  • Southern passengers travelling between London Bridge and Streatham or Streatham Hill: use alternative routes on London Buses and a limited replacement bus service.
  • Passengers on the West Norwood and Crystal Palace to [17] or [18] sections: use alternative London Buses, London Trams and London Overground routes.
Train delays have been cut in half following South London signalling upgrades Train delays have been cut in half following South London signalling upgrades // Credit: Network Rail

London Overground services will also be suspended between Canada Water and [19] from Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February. A rail replacement bus service will operate.

There will also be some closures on weekends before and after the half-term closure. Weekend closures will allow engineers to prepare the new signalling system and then to remove equipment afterwards.

The work will bring a three-year project to its conclusion. Engineers installed sixty-five new signals, new signal gantries, two new power supply points and hundreds of kilometres of signalling, telecoms and power supply cables.

Network Rail is relocating signalling control of the Crystal Palace, Peckham Rye and Tulse Hill areas from the Victoria Area Signalling Centre to the state-of-the-art Three Bridges Rail Operating Centre from 16 February.

The upgrades taking place between Crystal Palace, Tulse Hill and Peckham Rye are part of a programme of track and signalling upgrades investment Network Rail is delivering in South London at a cost of more than £400 million. Engineers are replacing 1980s signalling equipment, which is now unreliable, with up-to-date technology to improve journeys for passengers, and track upgrades at key locations on the network.

TfL replaceement bus stop sign Credit: Janine Booth

Lucy McAuliffe, Network Rail's Sussex route director, said: “Signalling upgrades between [20] and London Victoria, delivered last Christmas, have seen delays cut by more than half which really goes to show how vital it is that we continue to invest in to modernise our assets and give passengers the delay free journeys they expect from us.

“We are expecting this phase of signalling upgrades in the Crystal Palace, Tulse Hill and Peckham Rye areas to deliver a similarly impressive reduction in delays when it comes into use in February.

“We know the work means up to nine days of major changes to journeys for passengers and we are sorry for the disruption. While there is never a good time to close the railway, the half term is significantly quieter, and by the doing the work on consecutive days we can minimise the overall impact on passengers.

“So please plan ahead, look out for further updates and follow the travel advice”.

Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Govia Thameslink Railway, said: “While this major investment in modern signalling is inevitably disruptive, earlier phases of the programme have already brought huge reductions in delays for our customers on other South London routes. We'll be making details of recommended alternative routes available over the coming months, and I thank passengers in advance for their patience while the work is under way next February.”

Rory O'Neill, TfL's General Manager for London Overground, said: “I appreciate closures of the railway are never easy for our customers but this continued investment in infrastructure by Network Rail will help ensure we can continue to operate a safe and reliable service for many years to come. We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work takes place and ask them to check before they travel and allow extra time for their journeys.”


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