Plans for Bank Holiday engineering work on Great Western Railway’s route to Weymouth has been rewritten to keep trains running and help sunseekers enjoy a train ride to the famous Dorset coast.
Track renewals on the line between Yeovil and Weymouth were due to take place at Chetnole between Saturday and Monday 29-31 May, but they are being replanned for later in the year, so people can take advantage of loosening lockdown rules and enjoy some well-overdue sun.
Network Rail’s Wessex route manages maintenance of the line to Weymouth. Route director Mark Killick said: “This spring has featured some dreadful weather so far but with lockdown easing and the sun due on the horizon soon, everyone’s long overdue some good times. Traditionally we’ve done work like this at weekends and Bank Holidays as the railway used to be quieter at those times, but the world has changed and we are changing with it.
“We’ve worked with GWR to get this line back open for passengers as it’s absolutely the right thing to do. Safety is still out priority though, and although we can safely put it back for now, we do still need to do this track work. We’re now working on getting the job done in a quieter time of year for this line and we’ll be letting everyone know when that is.”
GWR’s station manager for Westbury, Wilts and Dorset James Wilcox said: “We are very grateful to Network Rail in agreeing to re-schedule these works. Supporting the communities we serve, we have listened to users of the line, and it is fantastic that we will be able to continue to operate our seaside special trains this coming Bank Holiday weekend.”
Other Bank Holiday engineering work on Network Rail’s Wessex route will be going ahead affecting other operators, including between Salisbury and Gillingham/Westbury, and around Leatherhead and Aldershot.