Network Rail has announced that work to upgrade track and signals will take place between Southampton and Bournemouth in November.
The railway will be closed from Monday the 1st to Friday the 5th of November so that improvements can be completed which will give better journeys, more reliable services and resilience to extreme weather conditions.
Upgrades will be made to track, signals and draining from Totton to Bournemouth and, once complete, will mean that speed restrictions can be removed providing faster journeys in the area for South Western Railway and CrossCountry.
The five-day railway closure will see work undertaken at multiple locations, these are:
- Improvements to track level at Brockenhurst, Sway and Hinton Admiral
- Improvements to drainage in the Sway area, which will help lessen delays and cancellations during times of extreme weather
- Bridge maintenance will be undertaken in the Christchurch area, which will mean the structures will support both track and trains into the future
- Maintenance to track and signalling at Totton, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst and Christchurch
- New rails will be installed between Hinton Admiral and Christchurch along with new ballast and sleepers at Sway which will improve reliability.
Travel Disruption Information for Passengers:
Monday the 1st of November
- Rail replacement buses will be in place for South Western Railway (SWR) services between Southampton Central and Bournemouth, and also between Brockenhurst and Lymington Pier
- Services by CrossCountry between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will terminate at Southampton Central, where rail replacement buses will run from both Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central to Bournemouth
- Rail replacement buses will not call at Beaulieu Road
Tuesday the 2nd to Friday the 5th of November
- Services by SWR running between London Waterloo and Weymouth will terminate at Brockenhurst with rail replacement buses giving onward travel for Bournemouth.
- Services by SWR running between London Waterloo and Poole will terminate at Southampton Central with rail replacement buses, giving onward travel for Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
- CrossCountry services operating between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will terminate at Southampton Central, with rail replacement buses in operation for both Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central to Bournemouth.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “This critical improvement work will improve journeys, making them more resilient and allowing us to remove speed restrictions.
“To support the country building back from the pandemic and as a reflection of a rise in leisure and tourism travellers to the South Coast, this critical work will be completed over five weekdays rather than closing the railway for a number of weekends.
“Changing travel patterns mean our railway is busier at weekends than midweek and it’s important for us to minimise the number of people affected by the work being carried out. We never take the decision to close a busy stretch of railway lightly and have reviewed our approach carefully to confirm it is the best option.
“We are working with operators SWR and Cross Country to plan alternative travel arrangements and I would encourage anyone travelling that week to check before they make their plans.”
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, said: “The work Network Rail are carrying out from the 1 November will mean big improvements for our customers. Not just a more reliable and resilient service, but also visible improvements.
“I realise these works will mean significant disruption for our customers and I’d like to remind anyone who’s traveling to plan ahead to see if their journey is affected. Replacement buses will be in operation meaning journeys will take longer. I’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding whilst these essential works are carried out.”
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