Wednesday 31 Mar 2021
REMINDER! New signals for Kingston, Richmond and Twickenham set to improve train services in South West London this Easter
New signals will be switched on in South West London this Easter introducing modern, more reliable equipment to improve rail journeys for passengers.
As a result of this work, the line from New Malden to Shepperton will be closed from the evening of Thursday 1 April, with the last service leaving London Waterloo for Shepperton at 6:42pm. The line from Barnes to Feltham, including Strawberry Hill, will be closed from Friday 2. Both will re-open on Wednesday 7.
Buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) services between Hounslow and Barnes and New Malden and Shepperton. Services to Windsor & Eton Riverside will also be diverted and call additionally at Barnes and Hounslow.
During a busy Easter of improvements, engineers will remove 33 pieces of old signalling equipment that date back to the 1970s and then switch on the new, state-of-the-art system for the line from Barnes to Feltham.
In line with Government guidance, passengers are urged to minimise travel over the Easter bank holiday. Those who do need to travel by rail over this period are urged to plan ahead and check whether their route is affected by the upgrade works taking place.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “This is an important programme of improvements at one of the busiest parts of our network.
“The signalling technology in this area has been in place for nearly 50 years and is starting to show its age. It’s vital that we introduce modern technology if we are to improve reliability, cut down on delays and provide our passengers with better journeys.
“A section of the railway will need to close for five days over Easter so we are encouraging those needing to use the network to check before they travel. We appreciate the patience of passengers and those living close to the railway where work will take place.”
Alan Penlington, South Western Railway’s customer experience director, said: “We know that closing the railway will be inconvenient for those making essential journeys, however, the works being carried out by Network Rail this Easter are vital to ensure the future reliability of the network.
“We’re doing all we can to help keep our customers moving and customers can still complete their journeys via replacement bus services and alternative rail routes. We urge anyone who needs to travel over the Easter period to check in advance, as journeys may take longer than usual.”
From Friday 2 to Tuesday 7 April, Strawberry Hill level crossing will be closed to road traffic while it is upgraded with more modern level crossing ‘furniture’ such as barriers, lights and alarms. Strawberry Hill station’s footbridge will remain open for pedestrians to cross.
Strawberry Hill’s level crossing is just one of 13 that will be improved or upgraded as part of the wider Feltham-Wokingham resignalling programme, improving safety and reliability.
Passengers are also advised that there will be a series of upgrades and improvements in Guildford between Friday 2 and Monday 5, with buses replacing trains on a number of routes.
Notes to Editors
The new signals are being commissioned as part of the Feltham-Wokingham Resignalling Programme, a long-term project to upgrade signalling dating back to the 1970s, controlled by Network Rail’s Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box.
The two locations control more than 500 pieces of signalling equipment over 80 miles of railway, at key parts of the SWR network including Feltham, Hounslow, Shepperton, Twickenham, Windsor & Eton Riverside and Wokingham.
Following this Easter’s commissioning work, control of signalling between Barnes and Feltham and also the Shepperton branch – which was upgraded to the new system in 2019 - will move to Network Rail’s Rail Operating Centre in Basingstoke, joining the majority of other signalling on the Wessex route.
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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.