Landslip stabilisation, signalling upgrades and level crossing upgrades successfully completed across Wessex route over the festive period: Portsmouth Direct Upgrade December 2023 Christmas works

Tuesday 2 Jan 2024

Landslip stabilisation, signalling upgrades and level crossing upgrades successfully completed across Wessex route over the festive period

Region & Route:
| Southern: Wessex

Network Rail is thanking customers for their patience after engineers carried out a number of railway upgrades between Christmas and New Year.

Over the festive period, a number of key upgrades took place to improve reliability across the Wessex route - which includes south west London, Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire.

Signalling maintenance and renewals – Southampton area

From Sunday 24 December to Friday 29 December, engineers worked around the clock to upgrade the signalling – the railway’s traffic light system – in the Southampton area on the line between Southampton Airport Parkway and Brockenhurst, and between St Denys and Fareham. As part of this work, over 12,000 metres of life-expired cable was replaced with modern multicore cables which will extend the life of the signalling equipment for the next 50 years.

Landslip stabilisation – Woking and Brookwood

Between Christmas and New Year on 27, 28 and 29 December, Network Rail’s engineers continued work to stabilise the landslip between Woking and Brookwood by installing further piles (foundations) to strengthen the cutting.

Signalling upgrades – Guildford to Petersfield

From Saturday 30 December to Monday 1 January, the line between Guildford and Petersfield was closed while engineers continued upgrading the signalling system as part of the wider Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme.

The work included the installation of signal structures and piles between Farncombe and Haslemere stations, as well as the installation of the Relocatable Equipment Buildings (REB) at Liphook and Liss, improving safety at level crossings along the route, as well as boosting drainage at Wormley cutting and aims to improve reliability, making level crossings safer, reducing journey times, and opening up the potential for more train services in the future.

Matt Pocock, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “We’d like to thank customers for their patience whilst our engineers worked around the clock to carry out several reliability improvements across the Wessex region to benefit customers for years to come.”

A South Western Railway spokesperson, said: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience as these important improvements were carried out over the busy festive period, which will help boost reliability in the years ahead.”

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