Network Rail announces nine-day closure of Eastleigh to Fareham railway in Hampshire to improve tracks and protect vulnerable earthworks: Network Rail has completed nine days of upgrade works at Fareham in which nine sets of points were replaced [3]

Thursday 12 May 2022

Network Rail announces nine-day closure of Eastleigh to Fareham railway in Hampshire to improve tracks and protect vulnerable earthworks

Region & Route:
Southern: Wessex
| Southern

Engineers will be shoring up a vulnerable stretch of railway between Eastleigh and Fareham between Saturday 25 June to Sunday 4 July, along with a package of 42 other jobs to improve passengers’ journeys on the route.

As a result, there will be no trains on the line between those dates, with a bus service and diversions taking its place.

The steep-sided cutting leading to Fareham Tunnel was built in 1841 and needs major work to improve it. A previous landslip on the line, at Botley in 2014, saw services suspended for over a month.

Network Rail’s route director for Wessex, Mark Killick, said: “By doing this work in a nine-day chunk it will mean we’re closing the railway for less time overall - and fewer weekends in particular. We’re also using the time to do a whole host of jobs, such as track improvements, maintenance and inspections that we would normally do by closing the route at weekends.

“We can’t forget that we’re also keeping the line safe from landslips by tackling the earthworks near Fareham Tunnel. 

“While I appreciate that it’s going to mean longer journeys and some disruption for that period, it will also mean a safer and more reliable railway – and one that’s open for business as much as possible. I would ask customers to plan their journeys that week so they don’t get caught out by the changes as we’ve worked hard to provide diversions and buses to keep people moving.”

SWR’s Customer Experience Director Christian Neill said: “We understand that a nine-day closure of the railway will significantly affect customers using the line between Eastleigh and Fareham, but this is the most effective and efficient way of delivering essential improvements. By spending time engineering a permanent solution, as well as taking the opportunity to carry out other maintenance and improvements, customers will experience greater reliability on this section of railway.

“We’ll be doing all we can to keep people moving and rail replacement buses will be in operation. Some services that would usually use this line are also diverted or revised, meaning customers may have to change trains, so we’re urging anyone planning a journey through this area to check before they travel.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding whilst these vital works take place”.

During the nine-day closure engineers will install retaining walls and make the slope of the cutting less steep, among a package of maintenance and improvements on the route.

Network Rail colleagues will be removing rail defects; maintaining track and power supplies to keep trains moving on time; clearing litter and graffiti from Cosham and Fareham stations, working on points so that they can keep working in cold temperatures; inspecting and improving drainage so that track can cope better during extreme weather; and replacing sidings in Eastleigh yard used by freight and engineering trains working across the region’s railways.

For more details see:

Notes to Editors

The Eastleigh to Fareham line was constructed in 1841 across an area of clay soil that supported the local brick and tile industry. Clay is a difficult soil to build on and the railway suffered from problems with its earthworks right from the beginning, including a partial tunnel collapse before it even opened. A two-mile diversionary route was created around Fareham tunnel - the so-called Funtley Deviation - which closed in the 1970s and became a footpath.

By reprofiling – making more shallow – the cutting sides, and building a retaining wall, the railway around Fareham Tunnel will be protected from any further earth movements and keep the line open.

Travel Info

Buses will replace South Western Railway services between Eastleigh and Fareham throughout the closure, while services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour via Basingstoke will start and terminate at Eastleigh and Fareham.

There will be some changes to certain Great Western Railway services from Portsmouth to Bristol during the period.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Chris Denham
Media relations manager (Kent)
020 3357 7969
07515 626530

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