An extra platform is to be built at Redhill Railway Station amidst a raft of changes and improvements to the south's railways network.

Network Rail made the announcement as it unveiled plans for what it has called “five years of massive investment” on the railways in Surrey, Kent, Sussex and South London.

It said the construction of an extra platform at Redhill will be done to increase capacity at the station.

Other major changes will include improving signalling on the Brighton Main Line near Balcombe to increase flexibility, platform lengthening on the line to Uckfield to allow longer trains to run, and improvements to the concourse at Victoria station to give passengers more room.

There will also be a rolling programme of station upgrades and improvements.

Network Rail said passengers can look forward to more trains, more seats and improved stations.

The rail operator stated: “Driven by a huge growth in demand, which has seen a 50% increase in passengers over the past ten years, Network Rail is investing more than £2.3 billion in the rail network connecting Kent and Sussex with London between now and 2019. “This will form part of a wider programme to deliver an extra 115,000 seats a day into the capital by 2019 – an increase of 20%.”

It continued: “For many commuters, the £6 billion Thameslink programme will untangle the routes to and through London Bridge, meaning more trains and better reliability on one of the most congested railways in the country. “Once the revamp of London Bridge station is complete in 2018, some trains which currently terminate at Charing Cross or Cannon Street will be able to continue through central London, reducing the need for commuters to change from train to Tube at the busiest times of day.” It added that also from 2018, the completed Crossrail project will provide an interchange at Abbey Wood in South-east London, offering new and faster connections into central London, Heathrow and the Thames Valley.

Network Rail’s managing director for South East route, Dave Ward, said: “The growth we are managing now is phenomenal – Southeastern and Southern already run more than 2,000 trains each and every day – and this has given us a real opportunity to improve the railway in Kent, Sussex and South-east London.”

He said: “The next five years will make a huge difference to everyone who travels by train in Kent and the South-east, and we are committed to delivering a better, more reliable railway for them.

“We have a great responsibility to passengers who rely on us and their operators to carry them home safely and reliably every day, and we can only continue to do that by improving existing routes and upgrading our technology. “We are also working on plans to improve the resilience of the railway in Kent and Sussex to extreme weather – something passengers have become well aware of the need for this year.

“And we are renewing our focus on safety. While we are the safest railway of our size in Europe, we cannot be complacent – particularly when it comes to level crossings and the safety of our workforce.”

Other changes and improvements to the local network will include upgrading the power supply to improve reliability and allow for increased services, and bringing 50% of all signalling in Sussex into a new control centre.

Network Rail is the not-for-dividend owner and operator of Britain's railway infrastructure, which includes the tracks, signals, tunnels, bridges, viaducts, level crossings and stations - the largest of which it also manages.