Rail commuters told not to travel as flooding hits Brighton mainline

Posted On 20 Dec 2019 at 8:49 am

Flooding at Balcombe. Picture from Network Rail

Passengers using the Brighton Main Line this morning are being urged not to travel as flooding on the railway is severely impacting services.

And meanwhile the M23 has also been closed between junctions 10 and 11 in both directions because of high waters, leaving both commuters and people wanting to get to Gatwick for Christmas flights stranded.

Heavy rainfall overnight has caused significant flooding along the route, with water completely submerging the rails in some areas, including Balcombe. Network Rail engineers are on site and are looking to remove flood water from the area where possible.

The line between Haywards Heath and Three Bridges is closed, so Network Rail is urging passengers to follow the travel advice issued by train operators along the route, which is that passengers in this area should not travel. The Uckfield line south of Crowborough is also closed.

Passengers should check with their train operator or via National Rail Enquiries for updates.

Severe flooding causes significant challenges for the railway. It can dislodge ballast, the stones which support the track, cause damage to electrical equipment which controls train movements and can mean debris is washed onto the track. All of this needs to be inspected and any debris removed before train services can resume again.

Network Rail said it is sorry for the disruption this morning and thanked passengers for their patience during this time.

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