Portsmouth Direct Upgrade, via Network Rail

Major maintenance works scheduled during a nine-day closure between Guildford to Petersfield

The railway between Guildford to Petersfield, will see a forced closure from Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February, due to the ongoing Portsmouth Direct Upgrade project.

Network Rail engineers are set to renew a key group of switches and crossings in Haslemere, which allow the trains to switch between tracks. These works will see the inclusion of 500m of plain line track and 1750m of conductor rail, generating a more reliable line and providing improved flexibility within operations.

The signalling systems between Farncombe and Petersfield are also being modernised, seeing the initial preparatory works starting. This transformation will afford more trains to run between Woking and Portsmouth Harbour, maximising the capacity.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said:

“It’s really great to see work progressing so well on the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme. Our teams have been working hard to try and carefully plan and fit multiple pieces of work within the same railway closure which in turn will save time and taxpayers money.

“I’d like to thank passengers again for their patience while we carry out these upgrades and bring the signalling system up to modern standards. We hope this will be a long-term benefit and cause less disruption in the future.”

Concurrent to these works, engineers will be partnering with contractors Balfour Batty, with ambitions to demolish the heritage Silo Road footbridge. This historic piece of rail infrastructure, built in the 1930’s, will be replaced with a modern and innovative steel footbridge. This new additional infrastructure will futureproof the safety standards for local residents, with the durable materials giving the bridge a life expectancy of 120 years.

Christian Neill, service delivery director for South Western Railway, said:

“In mid-February, the major programme of improvements will continue on the Portsmouth Direct line.

“This significant investment will replace decades old equipment to help improve performance for customers, and infrastructure resilience, for many years to come

“We appreciate that nine consecutive days of engineering works can be frustrating, so we would like to thank customers for their patience as these improvements are carried out.

“We advise customers to check their whole journey before they travel and to make use of the rail replacement bus services available.”

Throughout the closure concurrent works will include track maintenance at Witley station, Milford, Liphook and Liss, drainage renewals in Witley and stabilisation of Gomshall rock cutting will improve reliability during extreme weather.

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