Rail Update: Flooding problems ease - trains reinstated

A Southern train
A Southern train

Southern has announced that trains have started to run through Preston Park after remedial work to address flooding problems at Patcham.

Extra train services will be laid on in time for this evening’s (Monday, February 17) rush hour but there will not be a full timetable. A full service is expected to resume tomorrow (Tuesday, February 18).

A spokesman for the train operator said: “Even though groundwater levels at Patcham have significantly exceeded the threshold where severe flooding of the railway line was expected, water levels now seem to have peaked and stabilised.

“Work has been ongoing at the site to find ways to overcome the signalling system faults caused by equipment being immersed in water and to channel floodwater away from the running rails.

“Both of these issues have now been successfully addressed.”

Trains were due to start running over this section of line from 3.30pm onwards today (Monday, February 17).

The spokesman added: “As we have had to operate a heavily amended train service which has meant that rolling stock and train crew are not in their usual places, it will take some time to return the service to normal.

“However, we will now stop diverting trains via Lewes and the Arun Valley and will be working to introduce some extra trains to provide extra capacity this evening.”

Southern’s managing director, Chris Burchell said: “We and Network Rail have worked hard in challenging circumstances to deliver our first priority of reopening the line at Patcham.

“We are currently working on plans to reintroduce more direct services for this evening on the Brighton Main Line, although this will still be an amended and reduced peak service.

“We will be communicating details on this to our passengers as soon as we can as well as confirming what we hope to be a full service plan for Tuesday. I should like to thank passengers sincerely for their patience and understanding today.”