Railway reliability upgrades by Network Rail will mean temporary closures of the level crossings at Wokingham station and Easthampstead Road (Star Lane) and diversions in place for road users in the area from 26 January to 19 February.
As part of the upgrade work to support the reliability of the railway, engineers will also need to complete resignalling and level crossing upgrade work between Reading, Bracknell and Guilford during the February half term (Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February) which means that customers will need to plan ahead and check before they travel.
Buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Railway (GWR) trains between Reading, Bracknell and Guildford, extending to Ascot and Aldershot on some weekends. More detailed travel information is available on the SWR website and GWR website.
From Saturday 10 to Sunday 18 February, Network Rail will be completing resignalling work in the Wokingham area, installing 43 new signals (traffic lights for the railway).
The project team are upgrading four level crossings; two at Wokingham station and two on Easthampstead Road (Star Lane).
- At Wokingham station, a manually controlled barrier will be upgraded with CCTV monitors helping to keep railway and road users safe. The crossing will need to be closed completely from 22:00 on 26 January until 04:00 on 19 February.
- At Easthampstead Road (Star Lane), engineers will complete work to modernise the level crossings, installing new equipment that will extend the life of the crossing by 30 years. The crossing will need to be closed completely from 22:00 on 2 February until 04:00 on 19 February.
This work is the conclusion of Network Rail’s £116 million Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme which, over the past four years, has seen upgrades to key signalling equipment and level crossings controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box, which jointly cover 80 miles of railway and 500 separate pieces of signalling equipment in key areas of the South Western Railway (SWR) network including Feltham, Hounslow, Shepperton, Twickenham, Windsor & Eton Riverside, and Wokingham.
Once complete, customers will benefit from a modern digitised signalling system that will help improve train performance, increase future capacity, result in fewer delays, and enhance the safety of level crossings.
While the railway is closed, engineers will also be working at Wokingham Junction to upgrade switches and crossings as well as completing routine maintenance and structure examination to make best use of the railway being closed for nine days.
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.”
Image credit: Network Rail