Network Rail has announced that track and signal upgrades will take place between Southampton and Bournemouth in November.
The railway will be closed from Monday November 1 to Friday November 5 so that improvements can be made that will provide better routes, more reliable services and resistance to extreme weather conditions.
Improvements will be made to tracking, signals and drainage from Totton to Bournemouth and when completed will mean speed restrictions can be removed, providing faster trips in the area for the South West Railway and the crosscountry.
The closure of the five-day railway will see work undertaken in several locations, namely:
- Track level improvements at Brockenhurst, Sway and Hinton Admiral
- Drainage improvements in the Sway area, which will help reduce delays and cancellations in extreme weather conditions
- Maintenance of the bridge will be undertaken in the Christchurch area, meaning the structures will support both track and trains in the future
- Track and signage maintenance in Totton, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst and Christchurch
- New rails will be installed between Hinton Admiral and Christchurch, as well as new ballasts and ties at Sway, which will improve reliability.
Passenger travel disruption information:
Monday the 1stst November
- Alternative rail buses will be in place for South Western Railway (SWR) services between Southampton Central and Bournemouth, as well as between Brockenhurst and Lymington Pier
- CrossCountry services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will end at Southampton Central, where replacement rail buses will run from Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central to Bournemouth
- Replacement rail buses will not stop at Beaulieu Road
Tuesday the 2sd to Friday 5e November
- SWR services running between London Waterloo and Weymouth will terminate at Brockenhurst with rail replacement buses allowing travel to Bournemouth.
- SWR services running between London Waterloo and Poole will terminate at Southampton Central with rail replacement buses, allowing onward travel to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
- Cross-country services operating between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will end at Southampton Central, with alternative rail buses in service to Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central to Bournemouth.
Mark Killick, Route Director for Network Rail Wessex, said: “This critical improvement work will improve journeys, make them more resilient and allow us to remove speed restrictions.
“To help the country recover from the pandemic and to reflect an increase in the number of leisure and tourist travelers to the south coast, this critical work will be completed over five weekdays rather than shutting down the railroad for several weekends. -end.
“Changing travel patterns mean our railroad is busier on weekends than midweek and it is important for us to minimize the number of people affected by ongoing work. We never take the decision to close a busy railroad lightly and have carefully considered our approach to confirm that this is the best option.
“We are working with SWR and Cross Country operators to plan alternative travel arrangements and I encourage anyone traveling that week to check before making their plans.”
Alan Penlington, Director of Customer Experience at SWR, said: “The work Network Rail is doing from November 1 will mean big improvements for our customers. Not only a more reliable and resilient service, but also visible improvements.
“I realize that this work will cause significant disruption for our customers and would like to remind anyone who travels to plan ahead to see if their trip is affected. Replacement buses will be in service, which means journeys will take longer. I would like to thank the clients for their patience and understanding while carrying out this essential work.
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