Why do you always work at Easter? We ask the question as Network Rail engineers prepare for bank holiday investment in railways of Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Devon and SW London

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Customers are being reminded to check before they travel this Easter as Network Rail engineers work round-the-clock on vital upgrades that will benefit passengers for years to come.

While the vast majority of the South Western Railway network will be open as usual, customers should plan their journeys in advance, as the railway will be impacted in four locations:

Interview with Southern Region blockade director Tom McNamee.
  • The line from Clapham Junction to Victoria will be closed, also impacting SWR services between Vauxhall and Earlsfield, as engineers modernise 1970s track and signalling infrastructure, reducing delays.
  • The line between Staines and Wokingham will be closed as work continues on the £375m Feltham to Wokingham Resignalling Programme (FWRP), including the switching on of new signals and work to upgrade four level crossings which will benefit passengers as well as motorists and pedestrians.
  • The lines will be closed between Yeovil Junction and Honiton for vital earthworks, rail maintenance and level crossing works.
  • On Easter Sunday, track maintenance means buses replace trains between Eastleigh and Fareham.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “The commissioning of signals between Staines and Virginia Water is an important next step of FWRP and will keep trains running reliably on the line for years to come.

“There is never a good time to shut the railway but by doing this work over Easter we can minimise the disruption to customers. We’re very grateful to our passengers and people who live by the railway for their patience while we carry out this critical work. I would encourage everyone to check before you travel as buses will replace trains in some locations and some journeys will take longer than normal.”

Christian Neill, SWR’s Customer Experience Director, said: “The work Network Rail is carrying out this Easter is a vital part of the multi-million-pound investment being made to improve punctuality and reliability for our customers.

“Closing the railway when many people are planning leisure trips is of course frustrating, but the Easter bank holidays are typically a quieter time on our network and we need to make sure engineering works impact as few customers as possible.

“Where works are taking place, rail replacement buses will be running to keep people moving and the vast majority of our network will be unaffected. Despite this, a Saturday or Sunday service will operate on certain days, and I’d urge anyone who’s traveling to plan ahead to see if their journey is affected.

“I’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding whilst these essential works are carried out.”

Photo/video credit: Network Rail

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