Buses will replace trains from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst and Romsey in a week-long closure to allow upgrade work to be completed.
From Saturday 13th February to Friday 19th February, the line will be closed as work is completed on a £17m upgrade for freight services.
The work to remodel the lines used by the freight trains accessing the Port of Southampton has been underway since the end of January.
22 New signals, 14 sets of points and crossings along with 22 new signals have been installed. This will mean that freight trains will no longer have to move in and out of the Maritime Terminal to load and unloads.
To bring the new signals into use, the line needs to be closed while engineers complete the project.
Trains will be able to travel at higher speeds and with longer sidings, the efficiency will be boosted by up to 30%. Longer freight trains mean less heavy goods vehicles on the roads.
Each train could be carrying up to 14 extra containers, the same as 14 HGVs on their way to Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester, helping to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
Passengers can find out more information about the changes to services and the replacement bus services over on the Network Rail website.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “The line closure between February 13 and 19 will bring the core work of this project to an end, and with it, huge benefits to our freight operators and the local environment. It’s vital that we continue to modernise the rail network and we’re grateful to our passengers and those living close to the railway in Southampton for their patience while we finish this work.”
Charlene Wallace, Network Rail’s director of freight, national passenger and customer experience, said: “We’re delighted to see this programme moving forward, building on the work already undertaken in Southampton that is helping our customers run longer and heavier trains. We’re committed to getting more freight onto rail and schemes like this give the sector the boost it needs to deliver.”
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