Tuesday 14 Nov 2017
Passengers travelling through Southampton this Christmas advised to plan ahead as £8 million project to renew railway is delivered
- Work will take place from 24 December to 1 January, with significant alteration to services
- Buses will replace trains between Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway; and Southampton Central and Fareham
- Journeys on the line between London, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth affected
- Passengers advised to plan their journey ahead and travel before Christmas Eve
South Western Railway passengers have been urged to plan ahead this Christmas as the line between Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central will be closed because of vital engineering work. The line between Fareham and Southampton Central station will also be closed. Bus replacement services will be in place.
Network Rail will be carrying out track engineering work in Southampton at Mount Pleasant Road next to the River Itchen with all journeys through the Southampton area affected, including between London and Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.
The work is part of an £8 million investment to renew railway infrastructure in Southampton, giving passengers more reliable journeys and reducing track noise for our lineside neighbours. More than 100 engineers and track staff will be working shifts 24 hours a day to replace 6,000m of cabling and 200m of track.
Journeys on Sunday 10 December and Sunday 17 December will also be affected by the work and passengers are advised to check times and travel arrangements in advance.
Chris Loder, head of service strategy for South Western Railway, said:
“The line is closed at Southampton and our timetable for Hampshire and Dorset will change over Christmas and some weekends in December and January.
“We encourage passengers to avoid travelling on Christmas Eve if they can and to be prepared for longer journey times between Christmas and New Year. We’re doing all we can to minimise disruption and make sure we get all our passengers to their destination over the festive period. Please check before travelling, either online or at one of our stations.”
Becky Lumlock, Network Rail’s route managing director, said:
“We’re investing £8 million to give our passengers in and out of Southampton more reliable journeys. The new tracks will also mean less noise for our neighbours.
“This is a busy part of the network with around 164,000 trains passing over these tracks in the last year alone. The kit is worn-out and old and it’s vital we replace it now to avoid significant future disruption to our passengers
“We thank people for their patience in advance and apologise for the disruption this will cause. We know there’s never a good time to do this and that’s why my team will be working 24 hours a day, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day to deliver this as quickly as possible.”
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 38,000 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.