Friday 29 Apr 2016
Good news for passengers as Farnham to Alton railway line set to re-open early following landslip
Network Rail expects to re-open the railway line between Farnham and Alton on Wednesday 4 May, five days earlier than originally planned after a small army of engineers worked around the clock to stabilise the track at Wrecclesham.
John Halsall, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director said: “This is fantastic news for passengers and I’m delighted that we can re-open the line early for them. Our engineers faced an enormous task to bring the railway safely back into use as quickly as possible, and they really have delivered by stabilising one side of the embankment and shifting the track onto that side.
“Now that we’ve overcome the first hurdle, our attention will turn to providing a permanent solution and re-building the whole embankment from the bottom up.
“In the meantime I’d like to thank passengers for their patience and our lineside neighbours for their understanding during these vital works. Our neighbours have been fantastic in working with us during this period of disruption.”
Christian Roth, Managing Director of South West Trains, added: “I’d like to thank our passengers for their patience during the last few weeks and the teams on site for all their hard work to get the line reopened ahead of schedule.
“We will continue to work closely with Network Rail and keep passengers informed ahead of future works to stabilise the embankment but we look forward to trains serving Alton, Bentley and Farnham stations from Wednesday morning.”
The line between Alton and Farnham was closed on 13 April after engineers found the track was starting to dip, and South West Trains immediately implemented a bus replacement service for passengers. Network Rail engineers investigated the landslip further and began work to stabilise the 250m stretch of track by drilling reinforcing ‘piles’ eight metres into the ground beneath.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.