Rail travel across south east London has been made "more reliable" after the completion of a three-month upgrade project at the "critical" Slade Green junction.

The £4.5 million project was aimed at reducing faults and delays at the heavily used junction at Slade Green, where the lines from South East London and Greenwich meet each other on their way to Dartford and Kent.

Work was carried out over five consecutive weekends from Saturday 16 January 2021 to Sunday 14 February, and then completed last weekend.

The previous track was nearly fifty years old and was in a critical location where trains branched off to the depot where trains are stored and maintained.

Scott Brightwell, Southeastern Train Services Director, said: “The junction at Slade Green is a heavily used part of our network and the track improvement work was much needed.

Network Rail

Network Rail

“This and the wider investment in the South East Upgrade really helps us to improve reliability for our passengers.”

The works included the renewal of 7 switch and crossing units over 316 metres of track. 2,900 tonnes of ballast was used during the project and 820 railway sleepers were replaced.

It formed a key part of the South East Upgrade where a record £1.25bn is being invested to track, signalling, structures, earthworks, stations and depots to give passengers better journeys.

Virtual drop-in sessions were arranged for local residents and businesses to inform them about the scheme during the Covid lockdown.

Network Rail’s Route Director for Kent, Fiona Taylor, said: “This investment in a heavily used, critical part of the railway has already started delivering benefits for Kent’s rail passengers.

“I'm glad we were able to complete the works on time for our passengers and neighbour, creating a more resilient and reliable network.”