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‘Spectacle’ as major railway bridge replaced in Dartford over Easter weekend

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An operation to crane out a major landmark railway bridge at Dartford Station has been completed, proving to be “a spectacle.”

Network Rail said engineers worked over the Easter bank holiday in south east London and north Kent to carry out a number of major improvements on the network.

The work included replacing a major bridge just west of Dartford station, repair earthworks near Tonbridge and improve the railway track near Hither Green and Petts Wood.

This meant no London-bound trains were able to depart from the Dartford hub from April 2 to April 5, and passengers were advised to minimise travel over the weekend.

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Network Rail said last week that “the bridge work at Dartford promises to be a spectacle as the landmark bridge over Hythe Road in the town is craned out and replaced.”

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Network Rail Kent route director Fiona Taylor said: “Like most people, I find it hard to believe we’re coming up for a year living with COVID.

“In that time, we’ve kept working hard on the railway for our essential workers and this Easter is a continuation of that work.

“We know that fewer essential workers will be on our trains over the Bank Holiday and that’s why we’re targeting those four days for some major engineering.

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“I’m excited to see the new bridge going in at Dartford and the many other smaller projects taking place – it’s all building towards a time when we can welcome more passengers and commuters back to a better railway.

“In the meantime, I’m really grateful to people for their patience whilst we carry out this vital engineering work over Easter and encourage everyone to please check before they travel.”

The investment in the region this Easter is part of the £1.25Billion South East Upgrade – a plan to build a better railway for passengers in South East London and Kent.

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Jenny Saunders, Customer Services Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “We’ve been working closely with Network Rail and Southeastern to minimise the effect of this vital work on train services, and we join them in thanking customers for your understanding while these major improvements are under way.”

Scott Brightwell, Train Services Director at Southeastern, said: “The improvement projects that are taking place across our network will help us to provide more reliable journeys in future but it does mean there will be changes to some of our services.”

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