A seven-day closure has taken place on the North Downs line between Guildford and Gatwick Airport stations in order to allow Network Rail to carry out essential reliability upgrades. The planned work has now been completed successfully, with the railway reopening on Saturday, the 18th of November.
The project saw Network Rail engineers work around the clock in order to carry out the renewal of railway track for the North Downs line, which connects Reading and Guildford with Redhill and Gatwick Airport stations. The work completed will support improved reliability for customers travelling with Great Western Railway and included:
- The renewal of 332m of track which dated back to the 1970s, including rails, sleepers and ballast.
- The replacement of 16 wheel timbers over the river Wey.
An investment just short of £1 million has seen the vital work carried out benefitting rail customers into the future and providing the railway's infrastructure with extended life expectancy. The improvements will also see less need for speed restrictions for Great Western Railway services, allowing the rail operator to continue with its smooth-running, reliable services.
Mark Killick, Network Rail's Wessex route director, said:
“Running a safe and reliable railway is my ultimate priority, which is why this type of work is critical to keeping the North Downs line fully functional.”
“Taking this decision to close the railway over the seven-day period was not taken lightly, but our engineers have used the time effectively to carry out additional renewals to other parts of the track, which will benefit customers for years to come.”
“I'd like to thank customers and residents for their patience whilst we carried out this work.”
Steven Hawker, Great Western Railway's regional station manager for the North Downs line, said:
“These works are essential to maintaining and improving the railway and we'd like to thank customers who were disrupted for their patience during the seven-day closure.”