Dover to Folkestone railway to reopen three months ahead of schedule in September

Aerial shot coastal railway

The railway between Dover and Folkestone will reopen on Monday 5 September following a nine-month project to repair the line.

Passengers from Dover, Deal, Walmer, Sandwich and Martin Mill will be able to use a full train service again from this September, as Network Rail completes a £39.8m project and reopens the railway between Dover and Folkestone.

The line had to be closed on Christmas Eve last year after extensive damage to the sea wall was found at Shakespeare beach.

Since then, Network Rail’s orange army has worked to build a new 235-metre long viaduct supported by more than 130 concrete columns.

"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."

Mark Carne, Network Rail chief executive

"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 would also like to thank passengers on this line for their patience while the railway has been closed."

John Halsall, route managing director for the South East route, Network Rail

While the railway has been closed between Dover and Folkestone, Network Rail has invested an additional £3.5m to make the line more resilient.

As part of the work there have been brickwork repairs on Shakespeare, Abbotscliffe and Martello tunnels, 2.4km of new track, and drainage work in Abbotscliffe tunnel.

"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."

Charlie Elphicke, MP for Dover and Deal

Due to the scale of this project there will be three Sundays of follow-up work to allow final works to be completed, on 11 September, 2 October and 9 October, resulting in smoother and quieter journeys for passengers.

A new timetable for services has been in place throughout the work at Dover, with a day and night bus service running to ensure passengers can keep moving.

Passengers who use the line between Dover and Folkestone have been offered a compensation package along with free car parking permits at Folkestone West while the line is closed.

About Network RailNetwork Rail logo

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain’s railway – the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.6bn journeys by rail every year - double the number of 1996 - and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We’re investing £38bn in the railway by 2019 to deliver more frequent, more reliable, safer services and brighter and better stations.

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