Network Rail engineers will begin around-the-clock working to update the 1970s signalling equipment between Farncombe and Petersfield from Sunday 21 to Sunday 29 October, as part of the wider Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme.
The work is essential to improve the reliability of the railway for customers travelling between Portsmouth and London Waterloo, and will help reduce journey times as well as provide the opportunity to increase the number of services in the future.
During the nine-day line closure, Network Rail engineers will be completing a range of work including:
- Installing signal piles (foundations for the signals)
- Installing new signal posts
- Installing new signal gantries either end of Haslemere station
- Laying power cables at Princess Bridge
- Constructing a signalling equipment building
- Upgrading level crossings between Farncombe East and Liss
To utilise the time that the line is closed, engineers will also be taking the opportunity to complete other vital work including stabilising the cuttings at Haslemere and Wormley to reduce the risk of debris falling onto the track, as well as brickwork repairs in Guildford tunnel.
🛠️📅Just under a month to go before the next phase of the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade closes the line from Guildford to Petersfield & Havant (Sat 21 - Sun 29 Oct)— Network Rail Wessex (@NetworkRailWssx) September 25, 2023
👷♂️🚄Our teams will be working to improve the reliability on this key commuter line
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “Next month our engineers will continue key upgrades to track, signalling and level crossings between Farncombe and Petersfield, as part of our wider Portsmouth Direct Upgrade.
“This work is crucial to improving the reliability of the railway for customers travelling between Portsmouth and London Waterloo and will help reduce journey times as well as provide the opportunity to increase the number of service in the future.”
Peter Williams, South Western Railway's customer and commercial director, commented: “Making the decision to close parts of the network is really difficult because we know how inconvenient it can be for customers, but giving Network Rail this access will allow them to make significant progress upgrading the line and help avoid future day-to-day disruption.
“We thank customers for their patience as these essential upgrades are carried out, which when complete will boost reliability for many years to come."
Photo credit: Istock