Friday 29 Jan 2021
Network Rail completes improvements and vital maintenance during week-long closure in Portsmouth
Engineers have extended the life of a Victorian viaduct and improved track in Portsmouth following a week of maintenance.
Landport Viaduct, built in 1876 for trains to travel between Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour stations, was strengthened during a week-long closure from Monday 18 to Sunday 24 January.
10 of the historic viaduct’s 17 spans were strengthened to extend the life of the structure, which will now be painted in work lasting until the end of April. The viaduct’s seven other spans will receive similar treatment at a later date.
In addition to strengthening the viaduct, engineers made the most of the quiet time on the railway to carry out vital maintenance on the line from Cosham and Bedhampton to Portsmouth Harbour.
At a bridge crossing Portsbridge Creek, near Hilsea station, engineers renewed timber rail supports known as wheeltimbers, with the aim of removing a Temporary Speed Restriction (TSR) on the line. Similar work was carried out on St George’s bridge approaching Portsmouth Harbour station.
Also approaching Portsmouth Harbour, engineers made a number of track improvements. Several switches and crossings - which allow trains to move from one track to another - were refurbished with new components including point heaters, which keep them moving in freezing temperatures.
At Fratton train care depot new sidings were installed as part of a long-term programme of improvements to the facility used by Great Western Railway (GWR) and South Western Railway (SWR).
Mark Killick, Wessex route director, said: “I’d like to thank our passengers for their patience while we completed this important programme of improvements. All of the work we carried out last week will improve reliability for services in the Portsmouth area for many years to come.”
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.