The South Rail Systems Alliance (SRSA) have recently completed a nine-day multidisciplinary possession at Copyhold Junction, Sussex.

With works beginning in late February, the Tonbridge division overhauled the infrastructure of the line, with works including track, signalling and electrical and power upgrades (E&P) to ensure the passenger and freight trains operate at peak performance.

The timing of the possession brought an unusual challenge, with Storm Eunice affecting the first day of the programme. The extreme weather conditions caused blockages to the track network, with our first train arriving to site 16hrs late. To recover the lost time, the team remained proactive and reactive as they pulled together in-house resources and supply chain partners to revise the construction programme.

Despite this setback, in total the team completed:

Track Renewals

  • Renewal of eight point ends in CEN 60 layout
  • 941m of plain line renewals
  • 274m of re-railing
  • 180m of Ballast Retention Systems laid
  • 500m of Glass Reinforced Plastic troughing route
  • 6720 tonnes of spoil removed with 7860 tonnes of new ballast installed


  • 200W/m Points Heating with new Transformers and Track Circuit Blocks installed
  • Distribution Network Operator upgrades at Old Wickham Lane and Haywards Heath Station
  • 650v Power upgrades to support the new signalling equipment
  • Installation of a new Points Heating Control Cubicle
  • 1640m of new conductor rail
  • Two new Controlled Track Switches
  • Three Track Disconnectors
  • 5000m of new power cable run


  • Installed Hy-Drive/In Bearer Clamp Lock Mark 3 Point Operating Equipment
  • Four new location cases installed including installation of Micro Functional Supply Point equipment
  • 10,000m of new signalling cable run
  • Removed existing non-compliances to track circuits
  • Altered existing Track Protection & Warning System locations to improve safety performance

Check out the video below for more information of the team’s scope of works:

With the help of our Kirow 1200 crane on site, 67 panels were lifted and installed. The team were also assisted by 19 engineering trains and eight Road Rail Vehicles.

To complete the track renewals, two Tampers delivered parallel tamping for a total of 32 hours to add the finishing touches to the track.

Speaking on the success of the team, Network Rail Project Director, Tom McNamee said “I was highly impressed with the commitment and resilience shown by the entire team in the face of significant difficulties that could have prevented successful delivery.

“These setbacks, including programme delays caused by Storms Eunice and Franklin, were beyond the control of the Delivery Team, however the team remained customer focused and agile enough to revise plans to not just ensure delivery of their own works, but also to consider and support delivery of the other key works across the Blockade.

“Without compromising quality or integrity I saw a can-do attitude that ultimately delivered a successful piece of work that was handed back on time and with a better result for the passenger than originally planned, with the SRSA being able to improve on the published Temporary Speed Restriction.

“I enjoyed the collaborative approach that was demonstrated and also the unity of those in the Alliance, who were able to give me a clear and consistent communication throughout the nine days.”

Despite the large scale of this project all works were completed and handed back to the client on time, to budget and without any incidents.

The SRSA is comprised of Colas Rail, Network Rail and AECOM, an alliance created to deliver a portfolio of works across the southern region of the UK over a 10-year period.