Five-day rail closures on the Portsmouth to London Waterloo line between Petersfield and Guildford - bus replacement services will run instead

Trains will not be running on part of the Portsmouth to London Waterloo line for five days next week as the line is closed so engineers can carry out a number of upgrades on the line.
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From Monday to Friday (July 24 to 28) inclusive, buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) train services between Petersfield and Guildford while the line is closed to enable Network Rail engineers to work around the clock over the five-day period to complete an ambitious 15 different projects at multiple worksites on the busy line, with Network rail saying that completing this work over five consecutive days avoids months of disruptive weekend and night closures.

Between Farncombe and Petersfield teams will be continuing to replace the 1970s signals – the railway’s traffic light system – with new, state of the art digital signalling technology in preparation for the system going live in 2024 as well as installing new power cables to support the new technology. This work is part of Network Rail’s wider Portsmouth Direct Upgrade programme in which the signalling and track on the line from Woking to Portsmouth Harbour is being upgraded to improve reliability, journey times and potential capacity.

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Teams of engineers will be taking advantage of the extended line closure to complete other essential works to keep services running safely and reliably.

Buses will replace trains between Petersfield and Guildford for five daysBuses will replace trains between Petersfield and Guildford for five days
Buses will replace trains between Petersfield and Guildford for five days

At Haslemere, the switches and crossings – the moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another – will be renewed, the canopies and footbridge at the station will be spruced up with a new lick of paint, and between Haslemere and Wormley work will be taking place to stabilise the cuttings to help prevent landslides.

Other work that will be completed includes:

  • Renewing 106 sleepers, over 400 metres of track and replacing ballast (the stones that support the track) at Princes Bridge by Liss station
  • Upgrading Sheet level crossing including renewing the existing dated barriers
  • Installing new piles (foundations) for the new signalling system
  • Installing anti-trespass fencing at Farncombe East
  • Managing vegetation along the line
  • Completing routine track maintenance and rail testing

Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a large programme of works being planned for the next stage of the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade. Our teams have been planning this closure for months to carefully fit the most amount of work in during the five-day closure, saving both time and taxpayers’ money.

“I’d like to thank customers again for their patience while we carry out these upgrades and bring the signalling system up to modern standards. We know this work will provide a long-term benefit and cause less disruption for passengers in the future.”

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Stuart Meek, South Western Railway’s chief operating officer, said: "The major programme of improvements on the Portsmouth Direct line is continuing from 24th to 28th July and we are sorry to customers for the extra time that this will add to their journeys during this period.

“The upgrades to track and signalling and the other infrastructure works taking place will modernise the equipment and improve the reliability of services going forward, giving a better experience for our customers for many years to come.”

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