Resignalling taking place at Balham

Transformational work to be carried out as part of Portsmouth Direct Upgrade

Network Rail have announced the launch of the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade project which will deliver a more reliable railway between Woking and Portsmouth Harbour.

Engineers will carry out improvements on the signalling systems and track and level crossings between Farncombe and Petersfield.

The work will take place between 2022 and 2024 on the line built more than 150 years ago on the Portsmouth Direct route.

A nine-day closure will be in place between Guildford and Petersfield as the major part of the work takes place.

From Saturday 12th February to Sunday 20th February 2022 the line will be closed between Guildford and Petersfield.

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex Route Director spoke on what the project will bring to passengers.

Mr Killick said: “This upgrade programme will provide a much-improved railway for customers travelling between London Waterloo and Portsmouth.

“Large parts of the line are still run in the same way as they were in the 1970s and it’s time to bring the railway up to date.

“There’s never a good time to undertake disruptive engineering work.

“We will be working closely with our industry partners to minimise the impact on everyone.

“That said, we have a great deal of work to do between now and 2024, involving weekend and some weekday line closures.

“I’d encourage our passengers to plan ahead and look out for more information in the coming months.”

Christian Neill, South Western Railway’s Customer Experience Director also commented on the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade project.

Mr Neill added: “The work… marks the start of a huge investment in railway infrastructure which will improve customer journeys for years to come

“Replacement buses will be in operation wherever lines need to be closed.

“I’d encourage anyone traveling with us to check to see if their journey will be affected.

“I’d also like to thank our customers for their patience whilst these essential works are carried out.”

The resignalling scheme between Farncombe and Petersfield is also a key part of the project.

This will see the installation of a new digital signalling system controlled from Network Rail’s state-of-the-art Rail Operating Centre in Basingstoke.

Improved switches and crossings will also be installed at Petersfield and Haslemere increasing the speed at which trains can travel on the line.


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