This work is the last stage of Network Rail's £116m Feltham and Wokingham resignalling programme, which aims to improve the resilience of train services and increase capacity on the line, which will result in fewer delays.
The programme has included updating signalling equipment and level crossings controlled by Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box. In all, workers have upgraded eighty miles of railway and five hundred separate items of signalling equipment on the SWR.
GWR has issued the following advice to passengers who may be affected by the closure:
- A limited number of buses will replace trains:
- Allow plenty of time for journeys.
- Tickets between Reading, Guildford and Gatwick Airport can use them to travel on trains via Basingstoke, Woking and Clapham Junction, except on Sunday 11 February.
- Passengers who usually travel from Farnborough North or North Camp can access these services from Farnborough (Main) and Ash Vale stations respectively.
In addition, track renewal work will disrupt train services between Reading and Guildford on the weekend of 24 and 25 February. Buses will replace trains between those stations. Trains will continue to operate between Guildford and Gatwick Airport.
GWR Regional Station Manager Andrew Gallaugher said, “As we continue to invest in the railway, this work is really important to ensure we can maintain and improve resilience.
“Buses will replace trains between Reading and Gatwick Airport between Saturday 10 and Sunday 18 February; journeys will take slightly longer, and we urge those travelling to check their journey beforehand.
“Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding.
Tom McNamee, Network Rail's Wessex route infrastructure director, said, “These works are critical to us being able to deliver a safe, modern and reliable service for customers travelling on our network between Reading, Bracknell and Guildford.
“There's never a good time to close the railway, and we know that level crossing closures in Wokingham will be disruptive to local road users. However, delivering the bulk of these works during the half term break, when fewer people travel by rail and the schools are closed, helps us minimise the disruption to our customers who rely on this important stretch of railway.
“We're grateful to customers and local residents living alongside the railway for their patience and understanding while we continue upgrading the railway.”