Passengers are reminded to plan ahead as long-term improvements will be delivered over five days between Southampton and Bournemouth starting on Monday 1 November.
The first day the line between Southampton to Bournemouth is closed and the remaining four days, it is Brockenhurst to Bournemouth. Engineers will work around the clock to make infrastructure more reliable, which will also improve journey times for passengers by removing speed restrictions.
At Brockenhurst, teams will install new electrical equipment to improve power supply, and track circuits – which tell signallers where trains are on the network – will be replaced.
Drainage will be improved in the Totton and Ashurst areas, engineers will carry out vital maintenance on two bridges that cross the Avon and Stour rivers and concrete sleepers – which support the track – will be replaced between Christchurch and Pokesdown for Boscombe.
SWR and Cross Country passengers are being reminded to check before they travel as buses replace trains on a number of routes.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “This critical improvement work will make journeys better for passengers as once the work is complete, the track and signals will be more reliable and allow us to remove speed restrictions.
“We never take the decision to close a busy stretch of railway lightly and have reviewed our approach carefully to confirm it is the best option. We’re working closely with operators SWR and Cross Country to make passengers aware of alternative travel arrangements and I would encourage anyone travelling to check before they make their plans.”
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, added: “The work Network Rail is carrying out from the 1 November will mean big improvements for our customers. Not just a more reliable and resilient service, but also visible improvements.
“I realise these works will mean significant disruption for our customers and I’d like to remind anyone who’s traveling to plan ahead to see if their journey is affected. Replacement buses will be in operation meaning journeys will take longer. I’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding whilst these essential works are carried out.”
Photo credit: Network Rail