Tuesday 25 Oct 2016
VIDEO AND PICTURES: Multimillion pound Hampshire railway upgrade gets under way
Passengers in Hampshire will soon benefit from a better and more reliable railway as Network Rail continues its major track renewal project at Fareham.
The multimillion pound upgrade began at 2am on Saturday, 22 October, and throughout this week Network Rail’s engineers are working around the clock to replace nine sets of points, the crossings which allow trains to move between lines, as well as 240 metres of track. In addition, Network Rail and Hampshire County Council are using this opportunity to jointly invest £1 million in upgrading Fareham station, to be delivered by South West Trains.
This package of investment will see upgrades to a number of areas, including a resurfaced forecourt, improved station access, a new accessible toilet on the island platform, and upgrades to the existing island platform toilets.
Colum Cavanagh, director of route asset management at Network Rail said, “The work at Fareham is delivering another slice of our Railway Upgrade Plan, providing a better railway for the growing numbers of passengers in Hampshire. The points we’re renewing are very heavily used and are at the end of their design life, so by replacing them we’ll be ensuring the long-term reliability and resilience of the railway for passengers.
“Due to the scale of the work we have had to close the railway for a week, so this is a case of some short-term disruption which will result in longer-term benefits and I’d like to remind passengers to check before they travel. The new track at Fareham will last for decades, and the upgrades to the station itself will make it a more inviting place to be.
“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out these upgrades.”
On Saturday, Network Rail opened the doors to the upgrades to the MP for Fareham, Suella Fernandes, and Executive Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward.
Commenting on the project, MP for Fareham Suella Fernandes said, “Many people in Fareham have contacted me about the rail service in the area, and I have been meeting with managers of Network Rail for some time now, discussing how we can improve the service. So the news that the track around Fareham, and the station itself, are to undergo improvement is very welcomed. The upgrades will lead to a better service in the Fareham area, a patch which has received little investment for many years, and will make a real change for passengers”.
Executive leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, said: "I was extremely impressed by the detailed planning that has gone into this project. This work to the backbone of our local rail network in Fareham is critical to the safe and timely running of the railway upon which tens of thousands of our residents depend daily and which is integral to the growth and prosperity of the South Hampshire economic area."
In order to carry out the upgrade safely and efficiently, the line through Fareham is currently closed until 31 October. Buses are replacing trains and passengers are advised to check before they travel.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Summary of changes during the upgrade:
- South West Trains will operate a bus replacement service between Eastleigh and Portsmouth, as well as between Netley and Portsmouth.
- Great Western Railway services will be replaced by buses between Southampton Central and Portsmouth.
- Southern services to and from Southampton will be diverted to run to and from Portsmouth.
- Fewer parking spaces will be available at Fareham station.
Full details of the changes, including some variations at weekends, can be found online at nationalrail.co.uk or on the appropriate operator’s website – southwesttrains.co.uk, gwr.com and southernrailway.com – and passengers are advised to check before they travel.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 19 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, more than 4.6 million journeys are made in the UK. 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.