Vital improvement work will see the railway line between Reading and Gatwick Airport close for nine days from this Saturday.
From Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February, Network Rail will carry out signal upgrades and level crossing works in the Wokingham area.
Replacement buses will run between Reading and Gatwick Airport. Buses will also replace trains on South Western Railway services between Reading and Bracknell for the nine days, as well as between Aldershot and Guildford on Sunday 18 February only.
Passengers are being advised to allow plenty of time for their journey as only a limited number of replacement buses can operate.
Passengers with valid 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.
GWR Regional Station Manager for the line Andrew Gallaugher thanked passengers in advance for their patience and advised them to plan ahead before travelling.
“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.”
This work is the conclusion of Network Rail’s £116m Feltham and Wokingham resignalling programme which aims to improve train service resilience and increase capacity on the line, resulting in fewer delays.
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.”
Track renewal work will also affect train services between Reading and Guildford on the weekend of 24/25 February. Buses will replace trains between those stations. Trains will continue to operate between Guildford and Gatwick Airport.
Customers looking for further travel information can visit GWR.com/Upgrade.
Image credit: GWR