The aim of this project was to enhance the operational flexibility of the East Coastway line between Brighton and Lewes by improving the headway from its current figure to a maximum of 3 minutes in both directions. enhance the operational flexibility of the East Coastway line between Brighton and Lewes by improving the headway from its current figure to a maximum of 3 minutes in both directions.
The East Coastway Line between Brighton and Lewes was signalled largely by two aspect colour lights, creating a headway of approximately 5½ minutes in the Down direction and 6½ minutes in the Up direction. It restricted timetabling flexibility which caused unnecessary additional delay during recovery from service disruption and limited the number of trains which could be diverted via Lewes in the event of weekend possessions on the Brighton main line. Also, it limited the opportunity to run extra trains. Furthermore, a short Up Platform at Falmer required the rear coach of an 8-car train to be locked, causing the dwell time to be extended well over the normal 30 seconds when the station was crowded.
The headway improvement was achieved by installing additional, and altering existing, signal sections with consequent alterations to the track circuits, Automatic Warning System (AWS), cables, lineside equipment cases, as well as altration to the Westpac Interlocking at Brighton and the control pale at Three Bridges. In additiaon to the headway improvemnts works the Up Platform at Falmer was extended at the Lewes end to accommodate 8-car trains. This also necessitated a signal move at the end of the platform.