Network Rail has apologised to football fans for the closure of Kew Bridge station during the weekend of Brentford’s match against Manchester United, so they will need to use alternative routes to get to the Gtech Community Stadium.
From Saturday, 13th to Tuesday, 16th, August, engineers will be working on the line between Barnes and Feltham, via Hounslow to install bases for new signals along with new cabling. . During the closure, buses will replace trains.
The closure is in connection with a £375m scheme to resignal the line between Feltham and Wokingham, which covers more than 80 miles of railway and over 500 pieces of signalling equipment.
Once the resignalling programme is complete in 2024, control of the signalling between Feltham and Wokingham will be moved to the Wessex Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in Basingstoke.
Over the May bank holiday, new signalling was switched on in the Ascot and Virginia Water area, whilst the Hounslow Loop is set to go live in August next year, with the final phase in Wokingham is switched on in 2024.
Network Rail’s managing director for Wessex route, Mark Killick, said:
“We know our work will make getting to Saturday’s match more difficult and we’re really sorry for the disruption. This is part of a massive £375m scheme to improve the railway in the area by replacing old 1970s signalling equipment with modern kit.
“Resignalling schemes like this one, and the track work that goes with it, are one of the best ways we have of improving the reliability of our network, so it’s really important we do the job and I’m grateful to our customers for their patience.
“By doing this work over four days, rather than splitting it up between weekends, means we can get much more done and we can make more progress on improving the railway with less disruption to our customers.”
Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director for South Western Railway, added:
“The modernisation work that Network Rail is carrying out will significantly boost the reliability and performance of the railway for many years to come.
“The decision to close the railway for four days, including two working days on the Monday and Tuesday, has not been taken lightly. We urge all customers intending to travel from Saturday morning until the end of Tuesday to check before they travel and make use of the alternative transport options available.”
Sally Stephens, Community Relations Director at Brentford FC, added:
“We’ve been working closely with South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail about the planned engineering works that will impact our first home game of the season.
“It’s clearly frustrating for our fans to have their journeys disrupted for our prestigious home season opener against Manchester United but we welcome the clear advanced communication. All supporters are advised to arrive early on Saturday and to check their route before they travel.
“We’d like to thank those customers impacted by these works for their patience and understanding as this vital upgrade is carried out.”