Easter shutdowns to wipe out SE London rail and DLR services

Charlton station
You won’t see one of these on Easter Sunday if you’re on the Greenwich or Bexleyheath lines

Two separate Network Rail engineering projects will cut off many of SE London’s rail and DLR links to central London over Easter – forcing passengers onto replacement buses or to the Jubilee Line from North Greenwich.

On Southeastern and Thameslink, both the Greenwich and Bexleyheath lines will be closed from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, with replacement buses running between Lewisham and Dartford. This is part of major signalling work on both lines, plans which have also involved the announcement of the sudden closure of the Angerstein Wharf foot crossing near Westcombe Park station.

A near-normal service will run on Easter Monday, which will help fans attending the Charlton Athletic v Scunthorpe match at The Valley.

Travellers hoping to use the Docklands Light Railway as an alternative to reach central London will be out of luck – a second Network Rail project, this time on the main line out of Fenchurch Street, means there will be no DLR service to Shadwell, Bank or Tower Gateway across the four-day Easter weekend.

DLR services will run instead between Lewisham and Stratford, Woolwich Arsenal and Canary Wharf/Stratford International; and Beckton and Poplar, with the Jubilee Line expected to pick up the slack again.

Jubilee Line services will run as normal, while Southeastern services will still run on the Sidcup line, albeit at a miserly two trains per hour on Good Friday and Easter Saturday at Lee and Mottingham stations – not good for those switching from Blackheath or Eltham.

On Easter Monday, engineering works on Thameslink lines in north London will mean its hourly service on the Greenwich line will run to Blackfriars rather than Kentish Town. This will, at least, be an improvement on New Year’s Day, when a mix-up meant Thameslink diverted its trains away from Greenwich despite there being no engineering works.

Earlier today, it was announced that Southeastern will continue to run trains in SE London until November and possibly April 2020 while the Westminster government “makes a decision on the future of the competition” for the franchise.

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