Network Rail have issued an apology to Brentford and Manchester United fans, as those who were hoping to enjoy a weekend trip for the premier league clash will be hit with disruptions. Supporters of both teams will be affected by four days of engineering works scheduled over the weekend of the 13th August.
Supporters are reminded that Kew Bridge station will be closed because of the work, meaning alternative routes must be taken to get to the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday, 13th August.
An essential infrastructure project will be conducted over this four-day period that will see engineers working on track maintenance that will bring more reliability to journeys for South Western Railway Passengers. Travel from stations between Barnes and Feltham, via Hounslow will see major improvements upon work completion.
Sally Stephens, Community Relations Director at Brentford FC, added:
“We’ve been working closely with South Western Railway (SWR) and Network Rail about the planned engineering works that will impact our first home game of the season.
“It’s clearly frustrating for our fans to have their journeys disrupted for our prestigious home season opener against Manchester United but we welcome the clear advanced communication. All supporters are advised to arrive early on Saturday and to check their route before they travel.
“We’d like to thank those customers impacted by these works for their patience and understanding as this vital upgrade is carried out.”
These works come as part of the £375m Feltham and Wokingham resignalling scheme, which covers more than 80 miles of railway and over 500 pieces of signalling equipment. The August works on the Hounslow Loop will see signals receiving new bases installed, accompanied by new cabling.
Buses will replace trains on that line for four days, including two working days, between Saturday 13 to Tuesday 16 August.
Network Rail’s managing director for Wessex route, Mark Killick, said:
“We know our work will make getting to Saturday’s match more difficult and we’re really sorry for the disruption. This is part of a massive £375m scheme to improve the railway in the area by replacing old 1970s signalling equipment with modern kit.
“Resignalling schemes like this one, and the track work that goes with it, are one of the best ways we have of improving the reliability of our network, so it’s really important we do the job and I’m grateful to our customers for their patience.
“By doing this work over four days, rather that splitting it up between weekends, means we can get much more done, and we can make more progress on improving the railway with less disruption to our customers.”
The resignalling scheme will hope to replace 1970s infrastructure with modern equivalents that will enhance reliability and stability along the lines for decades to come, with the project completion estimated for 2024. The programme reached the halfway stage over the recent May bank holiday, achieving new signalling installations in the Ascot and Virginia Water area, with new signalling technology on the Hounslow Loop set to go live in August next year 2023.
Upon the project’s completion, control of the signalling system from Feltham and Wokingham will be moved to the state-of-the-art Wessex Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in Basingstoke.
Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director for South Western Railway, added:
“The modernisation work that Network Rail is carrying out will significantly boost the reliability and performance of the railway for many years to come.
“The decision to close the railway for four days, including two working days on the Monday and Tuesday, has not been taken lightly. We urge all customers intending to travel from Saturday morning until the end of Tuesday to check before they travel and make use of the alternative transport options available.”
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