Surrey to Hampshire rail line to close for a week in blow for commuters

The rail line between part of Surrey and Hampshire will be closed for a week as part of work to improve signals. Rail replacement buses will be in operation between Haslemere and Havant during the closure.

The railway will be closed from Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, October 30. The works will be extended to Guildford at the weekend, while engineers will also renew drainage in the Haslemere area to improve reliability during extreme weather.

Network Rail says it will eventually allow more trains to run between Woking and Portsmouth Harbour. The work will see engineers installing new signals as part of the Farncombe to Petersfield resignalling programme.

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Babak Erfani, Network Rail’s senior signalling sponsor for Wessex, said: “This is the third closure on the line between Woking and Portsmouth Harbour as part of the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme, which is progressing very well. This closure is mainly to install new signalling structures and renew a vital set of switches and crossings, but we’ve made the most of it by carrying out a large programme of maintenance too.

“All of the work we’re doing is really important if we’re to run an efficient railway. The new signals that we’re beginning to install, and the switches and crossings we’re renewing, will mean that passengers can benefit from better and more reliable journeys for years to come.

“We really appreciate the patience of our passengers, who we advise to check before they travel, as buses will replace trains throughout the closure.”

At Petersfield, a “vital” set of switches and crossings allowing trains to move from one track to another, will be upgraded. Network Rail says this will make the line more reliable and provide greater operational flexibility.

Christian Neill, customer experience director for South Western Railway, said: “As the exciting Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme continues at pace, we would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding during the upcoming closure. We appreciate that nine days of closure can be frustrating, but this will allow Network Rail engineers to make significant progress on the project, which will ultimately replace decades-old equipment to help improve infrastructure resilience as well as performance for customers.

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


Surrey Live – News