East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme
Phase 2 Consultation – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of the Scheme?
More reliable journeys: We’ll help improve the punctuality of train services on the Brighton Main Line by remodelling the flat junctions in the Croydon area and building new tracks and platforms at East Croydon station, removing the current bottleneck which causes daily delays and disruption.
Faster journeys: More tracks and fewer flat junctions to help speed up journeys through the area.
More trains: Upgrading the railway in the Croydon area will help improve the punctuality and reliability of train service on the Brighton Main Line, so to enable additional services to be provided to meet future growth in passenger numbers.
An expanded and enhanced East Croydon station: We’ll build two additional platforms, a larger concourse with improved facilities for passengers and better connections with the town centre and other transport links, supporting the ongoing regeneration of Croydon.
Is the scheme funded?
No. Railway upgrade projects such as this are funded in stages. Decisions on whether to progress are based on the business case and associated key decision points. The Outline Business Case is currently being submitted to government, along with a funding request to further develop the scheme. Government will assess these over the remainder of 2020, before a decision is made on how to proceed.
Where will the money for construction come from?
Given the scale and regional importance of the Scheme, it is anticipated that the majority of funding will come from government.
How has the scheme been impacted by COVID-19?
We have had to make adjustments to our consultation; given the current situation, we’re unable to hold face-to-face public consultation events and have adapted our approach so that we can still hold a meaningful consultation.
To ensure our consultation is accessible we have extended the feedback period from six to 16 weeks to give passengers, local businesses and the community ample opportunity to have their say on the Scheme.
Our usual consultation events give members of the public an opportunity to speak to planning, engineering and environmental experts, and this consultation will be no different. We are offering an online chat facility, as well as a dedicated consultation hotline, allowing consultees to speak directly with members of the project team and ask any questions, as they would do at an event. We’ll also have all the usual consultation materials available online including videos, maps and station plans.
Is the scheme still necessary given the reduction in passenger numbers?
While these are clearly challenging times for the country and the rail industry, things will return to normal, and when they do passengers and freight users will still expect their trains to run safely, reliably and on time.
That’s why it’s important for us to continue to plan for the long-term and progress proposals to unblock railway bottleneck at Croydon, which will remain the single greatest constraint on train punctuality and capacity for services on the Brighton Main Line and its branch lines, unless action is taken.
What if passenger numbers don’t recover?
Our proposals offer a long-term solution to ensure we can provide a punctual service and meet increased passenger demand well into the future.
We are still forecasting growth along the Brighton Main Line in the long term, and we need to continue planning to ensure we are able to provide reliable services and meet future passenger growth.
Why is a Transport for Works Act Order needed?
As the Scheme proposals will require work to take place outside the railway boundary we will need to prepare and apply to the Secretary of State for Transport for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to authorise both the construction of these works and to use land outside the railway boundary, either temporarily or permanently, for the construction and operation of the Scheme.
Why do you need to do work outside the railway boundary?
Our proposals include expanding the current five track railway to eight tracks but there isn’t room to make this expansion within the existing railway corridor. Therefore, we will need to expand the boundary permanently to operate the Scheme as well as temporarily while we build the Scheme.
How long will the TWAO application take to process?
Following deposit of the TWAO application there will likely be a TWAO Public Inquiry and we anticipate it could be approximately two years from when we deposit the TWAO application to when a decision is made.
What happens if/when TWA approval is granted?
If the TWAO application is approved, Network Rail would then have the legal authority to construct, operate and maintain the works required for the Scheme – with these works then being physically delivered in accordance with the order.
Who decides whether or not to make a TWAO?
In England it is the Secretary of State for Transport.
What can a TWAO allow a promoter to do?
The types of matters that can be authorised by a TWAO include:
- powers to construct, maintain and operate a railway;
- powers to construct street works;
- powers to permanently or temporarily divert of alter highways
- powers to compulsorily acquire or use land;
- the right to temporarily use land (for example, for construction access or for a work site);
- amendments to, or exclusion of, other legislation; and
- safeguards for public utility providers;
These are only typical examples – it is not a full list.
How long is the construction programme for the Scheme?
The main works programme, made up of many construction activities, is approximately nine years long.
I use the train to commute to work – will my services be affected?
By keeping 5 platforms open for the majority of the construction period, the aim is to operate the similar level of train service as today.
In order to do this, one option is for the current service from Milton Keynes which terminates at East Croydon to turn back at another station (possibly West Croydon or Selhurst). Exact timetables are yet to be developed.
Will there be more trains after East Croydon has been developed?
Yes, the purpose of the Scheme is to improve the performance of existing trains and provide increased capacity to run more trains in the future. We are looking at how we can deliver these benefits in stages and as early in the programme as possible, so that passengers see the improvements more quickly.
Where will the additional train services run to and from?
It’s expected that there would be capacity to run an additional 2 trains per hour to each of London Victoria, London Bridge and Thameslink per hour. Exact starting stations would be up for consultation nearer the time. This will require additional fleet, with the exact number determined by where the trains originate from and how long they are.
Are major timetable changes anticipated as part of the scheme?
It is too early to confirm whether major timetable changes will be required. However, following the completion of the Thameslink programme and introduction of the associated timetable, it is anticipated that alterations will be made to the current timetable rather than a complete recast.
Why are you not consulting on your proposals for Norwood Junction station?
Although part of our wider proposals in the Croydon Area, our Norwood Junction proposals are not part of the ‘East Croydon to Selhurst Junction Capacity Enhancement Scheme’ TWA Order application. Where railway works are to be constructed within the existing railway boundary, these works may be able to be constructed under Network Rail’s existing permitted development rights and so could be delivered in advance of the works requiring TWAO consent, helping to deliver benefits as early as possible. In this instance we would still engage with the public, stakeholders and the wider rail industry on our proposals and follow Network Rail’s project and contract management controls to minimise disruption.