New-Track-Construction-train-in-action-at-Chetnole, via Network Rail

Vital track maintenance along the Heart of Wessex Line

The track route between Maiden Newton and Chetnole in Cattistock on the Heart of Wessex line will see around one mile worth of track replacement, seeing the works conducted this September via a team of Network Rail engineers. This will see closures to the railway from Saturday 24 until Friday 30 September

The old, 1950’s-style line will require essential maintenance works to supply smoother journeys for passengers. The dated infrastructure has an old-style jointed track which needs special care in hot conditions, as it can lead to speed restrictions being implemented when temperatures rise, notable especially during the recent heatwaves. The scheduled upgrade works will signify greater reliability amongst passenger travel, greatly reducing the need for speed restrictions.

Whilst track replacement is the key aim of the projected works, signalling maintenance will also be conducted at Yeovil Pen Mill signal box, platform resurfacing at Yetminster station and steelwork repairs at Damers Road bridge at Dorchester West station.

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

“I’m really pleased our upgrade of the Heart of Wessex line is continuing and although we are taking a full week to do the work, it will result in much less disruption for passengers overall. That’s not just because doing the work this way means we’re avoiding having to close the railway over many more weekends, but because the new track will be much more reliable too. 

“The old-style track isn’t good at coping with high temperatures as it expands so much in the heat and it means we have to put severe speed restrictions in place, delaying passengers. 

“The new track is part of an upgrade that will allow us to continue serving passengers on this line during hot weather conditions. Further work is due for completion in February and March next year, ready for the summer.”

These works come as the latest project in a series of improvement works to the Heart of Wessex line, connecting Weymouth with Bristol Temple Meads on the Great Western Railway network. Further works are due to be conducted early into 2023, supplanting old track in the Thornford area.

During these works, trains will continue running as normal between Weymouth to Dorchester South and beyond.

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



RTM Dec 23/Jan 24

Battery Powered Rail on Merseyside

This issue highlights the latest topics within the rail industry, from how the HS2 decision affects rail freight to the draft rail reform bill.                            


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


South \ 28 09 23
North \ 09 11 23
Mids \ 29 02 24

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


TransCityRail Midlands

The Midlands accounts for a significant portion of the UK’s rail investment strategy and the government has shown a commitment to investing in rail infrastructure and services in the Midlands region as part of its efforts to improve transportation, boost economic growth, and enhance connectivity.

Every year leaders of industry from Network Rail, HS2, Train Operators, Major Contractors and transport bodies converge at the TransCityRail Midlands conference, exhibition and networking dinner for a day of collaboration, conversation and engagement.

This year the plans for 2024 on Midland Main Line Electrification, HS2 (High-Speed Rail 2), East West Rail, Midlands Connect, Birmingham Curzon Street Station, Station Upgrades, Freight Rail Improvement and much more will be disclosed...

More articles...

View all