Published: 12:40, 17 October 2019
| Updated: 13:15, 17 October 2019
Disruption to rail services is expected over the Christmas period as bosses plan to make major improvements to the network in Ashford.
Southeastern High Speed and Eurostar services will not stop at Ashford International station while work is carried out to improve the tracks.
It comes as part of Network Rail's £1.25 billion plans to upgrade the rail network over the next five years - by replacing signalling, tracks, structures, embankments, stations and depots across Kent and south east London.
From Boxing Day to Sunday, December 29, train tracks, three sets of old switches and crossings and the moveable rails which allow trains to switch tracks at Ashford International will be replaced.
Improvements to track drainage to reduce delays from track faults will also be made, and the mechanical equipment that moves switches and crossings will also be upgraded to improve reliability.
Work is also expected to take place on weekends leading up to Christmas and into the New Year.
Mainline services are expected to run but some services will be subject to change.
Southeastern High Speed and Eurostar services will not stop at Ashford International on the following dates:
During this time, there will be no Southeastern High Speed services between Canterbury West, Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International.
A rail replacement bus service will operate between Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International, as well as Ashford International and Canterbury West.
Shaun King, interim route director at Network Rail in Kent, said: “We know that the most important thing for passengers is for them to get to where they need to be on time.
"Over the next five years we’re doing more work to improve reliability on the Kent network than ever before, addressing decades of underinvestment in the region’s railway.
“This work to install new track, drainage and switches and crossings at Ashford will give passengers using this section of railway smoother, more reliable journeys with fewer delays for decades to come.
“I’d to thank passengers for their patience while we work and remind them to check with their journeys before travelling. The railway remains open but there will be changes so don’t get caught."
Passengers who would normally travel to London St Pancras via Ashford should use mainline services, which will take around 45 minutes longer than the usual High Speed trains.
Journeys can be re-planned on the Southeastern website and National Rail Enquiries, and more information on the planned works will be available on the websites.
High Speed season ticket holders travelling via Ashford International on Friday, December 27 can claim for a refund of the High Speed premium portion of their ticket on Southeastern's website from that date.
Ellie Burrows, train services director at Southeastern, said: “This is a major investment and once complete this work will improve reliability of services for our passengers who use this busy route.
“We recognise that it will have an impact on train services at Ashford International. We will ensure passengers are aware of the changes and the alternative transport arrangements which will be put in place."