Upgrade and maintenance works are set to be conducted on the line between Barnes Bridge and Hounslow, forcing a closure until further notice as engineers need to access the underside of Barnes Bridge to carry out the repairs.
A planned inspection was carried out using contemporary ultrasonic instruments that uncovered a handful of defects that are plaguing the Victorian, Grade II listed structure, which has forced this need for the vital maintenance project before the bridge can reopen safely for passenger services.
Due to the Victorian structural design of the bridge, this will require the components that need replacing to be specially manufactured for the project. It is vital that the repairs must adhere to the specific aesthetic of the bridge, whilst future proofing the structural stability for years to come.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said:
“We’re extremely sorry for the major disruption this closure is causing to our customers. Operating a safe railway must always take priority and we are working to carry out the necessary repairs as soon as we can.
“Engineers found that four out of the 86 large steel pins that are used to hold in place the structural girders, which support the railway tracks above were slightly damaged. Due to the location of the bridge which spans over the River Thames, this makes gaining access to replace the pins much more complex.
“We’re continuing to work closely with our train operating partners at SWR to produce a revised timetable to serve as many stations in the local area as possible.”
Network Rail are collaborating with the Port of London Authority to garner the requisite access to the underneath of the structure, due to the repair scheme affecting the operations of the river.
Peter Williams, South Western Railway's customer and commercial director, said:
"Due to the closure of Barnes Bridge SWR trains are unable to serve Barnes Bridge and Chiswick stations until further notice.
"We are amending some services in the area to provide an hourly service between Waterloo to Kew Bridge via Hounslow. We are very sorry for the delay that this will cause to journeys."
For onward travel to Barnes Bridge and Chiswick stations, tickets will be accepted on:
- Transport for London buses between Feltham and Barnes via Hounslow.
- London Underground via any reasonable route
- London Overground between Richmond and Kew Garde
Want to know more about the opportunities to become a key supplier to the UK rail industry? Attend TransCityRail and access an exclusive marketplace of buyers from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors, and all other tiers of the supply chain. For more information and to secure your place click here.