22 August 2016, 12:25
The railway between Dover and Folkestone will reopen on Monday, 5th September, three months ahead of schedule.
The stretch of track has been closed for the past nine months after the sea wall which it runs on was left badly damaged in storms on Christmas Eve.
Since then, Network Rail engineers have been working around the clock on a £39.8m, 235 metre long viaduct project.
Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne, said: "This project is a huge achievement for all involved and I'm extremely proud of what has been done by those who have been working on the project since December.
"Finishing this project three months ahead of schedule is a reflection of the continuous hard work that has been taking place here, setting the standard expected at Network Rail.
“We face some big challenges in the coming years but with the skills and the dedication on show here at Dover I know we will face them head on.”
Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for South East route John Halsall said: “On Christmas Eve last year, parts of the railway between Dover and Folkestone were completely destroyed.
“By Boxing Day, engineers were on site and since then have been working around the clock to get our railway back up and running, completing this repair work in just nine months when a job like this would normally take two years.
"A huge thanks to the team for their hard work and I also would like to thank passengers on this line for their patience while the railway has been closed.”
Richard Dean, Southeastern’s Train Services Director, said: “We would like to thank our passengers for their patience and understanding while this massive project was undertaken.
“When the sea wall was damaged and the railway severed it meant we were unable to run all of our services, including a full high speed service. We made sure we provided alternatives and paid compensation to passengers, but none of that is a full substitute.
“It is great news that the railway will open in just a fortnight on Monday 5 September.”
Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal said: “The work that has taken place in the last nine months is a tremendous piece of British engineering, and a tribute to the dedication of both Network Rail and Costain staff.
“The railway between Dover and Folkestone is a key method of transport for residents of Dover and Deal and I’m delighted that it has been returned to them within a year of the line being closed.”
Following the 5th September, due to the scale of this project Network Rail says there will be three Sunday’s of follow up work; the company say this will allow it to complete final works resulting in smoother and quieter journeys for passengers.
The work will take place on the 11th September, 2nd October and 9th October. If you are planning to travel on these dates, please check before you travel.