Hither Green Resignalling Travel Advice

Saturday 25 July to Sunday 2 August 2020

Network Rail will close the lines through Hither Green during part of July and August to carry out critical signalling upgrades in the area.

Don’t get caught out, plan ahead and check back regularly.

What are we doing and why?

The 1970s signalling system, which controls the movement of trains on the lines through Hither Green, is being completely replaced with a more reliable system.

The current signalling system is ageing, so maintenance and sourcing of spare parts is becoming more difficult. If we don’t upgrade now, it could lead to delays and crowding for Southeastern passengers in future.

Map and line closure details

Please click to open the map.

Keeping passengers moving during the closures and Covid-19 crisis

  • Buses will replace trains between Lewisham and both Sidcup and Orpington.
  • Sidcup services will run east and into Central London via the Bexleyheath and Woolwich lines, and south via Dartford.
  • Rail replacement shuttle buses will run between New Eltham, Mottingham and Eltham, and between Elmstead Woods and Eltham, for services to Central London.
  • Rail replacement buses will run on the Bromley North branch.
  • Services from Petts Wood and Orpington will run to Victoria, Blackfriars, or London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross (running non-stop via New Beckenham).
  • Tickets will be accepted on alternative rail routes and the replacement bus service. Tickets valid on National Rail services only, for example ‘Sidcup to London Terminals’, unfortunately cannot be used on London’s buses.
  • As there is limited capacity on TfL buses due to social distancing, only Travelcards and Pay as You go (PAYG) will be accepted. You will be able to use Travelcards and PAYG on the London Underground if required.
  • Paper tickets (single, daily or season) will also be accepted between Southeastern’s London terminus stations: Victoria, Blackfriars, Charing Cross, Southwark, Cannon Street and London Bridge.
  • All Southeastern car parks will be available to season ticket holders who usually travel from a closed station (subject to capacity).
  • We are making for provision for social distancing on rail replacement buses but that means there could be queuing for replacement buses at busier times. Please travel another way if you can.

Can you travel another way?

On these dates, please use alternative travel if possible, or work from home to leave more space on the trains and replacement buses that are running.

  • If you do need to travel by train or replacement bus please plan ahead; travel outside of peak times, allow more time for your journey and follow the government’s latest coronavirus travel advice.
  • Passengers are encouraged to make all or part of their journey on foot, by cycle or car.
  • Transport for London publishes some useful maps here to help plan walking routes across London. It includes the walking times in minutes or numbers of steps between stations which are often less than expected.
  • Click here for a street map of the area to help plan alternative routes.
  • Click here to read the government’s safer travel advice for passengers.

Dates affected

There will also be closures during several weekends after this.
Don’t get caught out, plan ahead and check back regularly.

Bus and rail timetables

Monday 27 July to Friday 31 July 2020 – amended train and replacement bus timetables.

Normal weekday timetables will be in place again from Monday 3 August.

Please follow the links below to view the timetables:


  • Bus times 1: Orpington and Bromley North to Lewisham
  • Bus times 2: Sidcup to Lewisham
  • Bus times 3: Eltham – New Eltham – Mottingham – Eltham  (Circular Service)
  • Bus times 4: London to – Elmstead Woods via Eltham  (Peak Time Journeys)


  • Train times 1: London and Tonbridge to Ashford International,  Canterbury West, Folkestone,  Dover and Ramsgate
  • Train times 2: London to Medway Towns, Sittingbourne, Sheerness-on-Sea, Faversham, Dover Priory and Ramsgate
  • Train times 3: London to Ashford International and Canterbury West via Maidstone East: Strood to Paddock Wood and Tonbridge via Maidstone West
  • Train times 4: London to Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Battle and Hastings
  • Train times 5: London to Dartford via Woolwich: London to Dartford via Bexleyheath: London to Sidcup via Crayford
  • Train times 6: London to Catford Bridge, Elmers End and Hayes
  • Train times 7: London to Sevenoaks via Bromley South

Where to catch the Rail Replacement Bus Services

Guidance for passengers on rail replacement bus services

Please wear a face covering and follow this social distancing advice when using rail replacement bus services.

What is the travel advice?

If you do wish to travel, we will ensure that you can, but please note you will need to allow extra time for your journey.

Please bear in mind that journeys may be more comfortable if setting off earlier, or later, than peak times.

Advice will vary depending on the journey you are making as shown below. If you are travelling on affected routes:

  • Note that non-folding cycles cannot be carried on replacement buses.
  • If you require assistance, please book in advance at southeasternrailway.co.uk/assisted-travel
  • Unless detailed above, please plan your journey by visiting nationalrail.co.uk and using the journey planner. For some journeys, it may be necessary to add a “via” station to get the recommended route.

Frequent replacement bus services have been arranged during the week and at weekends but please remember that capacity may be restricted due to the government’s coronavirus travel advice.

How should I check my journey on the day of travel?

Information regarding any on-the-day disruption or unplanned alterations, including travel advice will be available via the following sources:

Please click to download and print the leaflet.

Why will it take nine days?

Social distancing requirements mean our workers can’t be close together for long periods, so it will take twice as long to finish the work.

What compensation is available?

Delay Repay works as usual and will be based on the revised bus/train timetable that applies during the line closure, if your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more.

I require travel assistance, what should I do?

Where replacement buses are running, these will be fully accessible to enable you to get to your destination. Staff will be readily available to assist you with your journey.

We recommend passengers needing assistance let us know 24 hours before they plan to travel so we can be on hand to help and recommend the best route for you to take. Passengers can do this by filling in our assistance booking forms online at southeasternrailway.co.uk/assisted-travel

Alternatively you can call Southeastern on: 0800 783 4524 or Textphone on: 0800 783 4548.

Can I take my bicycle on replacement buses?

It will not be possible to take non-folding bicycles on rail replacement buses.

Find out more at: networkrail.co.uk/hithergreen