Customers are being reminded to check before they travel this Easter as Network Rail engineers work round-the-clock on vital upgrades that will benefit passengers for years to come.
While the vast majority of the South Western Railway network will be open as usual, customers should plan their journeys in advance, as the railway will be impacted in four locations:
- The line from Clapham Junction to Victoria will be closed, also impacting SWR services between Vauxhall and Earlsfield as engineers modernise 1970s track and signalling infrastructure, reducing delays.
- The line between Staines and Wokingham will be closed as work continues on the £375m Feltham to Wokingham Resignalling Programme (FWRP), including the switching on of new signals and work to upgrade four level crossings which will benefit passengers as well as motorists and pedestrians.
- The lines will be closed between Yeovil Junction and Honiton for vital earthworks, rail maintenance and level crossing works.
- On Easter Sunday, track maintenance means buses replace trains between Eastleigh and Fareham.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “The commissioning of signals between Staines and Virginia Water is an important next step of FWRP and will keep trains running reliably on the line for years to come.
“There is never a good time to shut the railway but by doing this work over Easter we can minimise the disruption to customers. We’re very grateful to our passengers and people who live by the railway for their patience while we carry out this critical work. I would encourage everyone to check before you travel as buses will replace trains in some locations and some journeys will take longer than normal.”
Christian Neill, SWR’s Customer Experience Director, said: “The work Network Rail is carrying out this Easter is a vital part of the multi-million-pound investment being made to improve punctuality and reliability for our customers.
“Closing the railway when many people are planning leisure trips is of course frustrating, but the Easter bank holidays are typically a quieter time on our network and we need to make sure engineering works impact as few customers as possible.
“Where works are taking place, rail replacement buses will be running to keep people moving and the vast majority of our network will be unaffected. Despite this, a Saturday or Sunday service will operate on certain days, and I’d urge anyone who’s traveling to plan ahead to see if their journey is affected.
“I’d like to thank customers for their patience and understanding whilst these essential works are carried out.”
- Closest to London, the line through Vauxhall will be partially closed as engineers continue their work to modernise 1970s track and signalling on the lines into London Victoria station. This means that from Good Friday until Easter Monday, Earlsfield station will be closed and some trains will not call at Vauxhall.
- The line will be closed between Staines and Wokingham, extending to Byfleet & New Haw, Weybridge and Ash Vale Stations from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April. This means there will also be no service between Virginia Water and Weybridge and no service Ascot to Ash vale. Waterloo to Reading services will terminate at Staines to be replaced by a bus. There are also buses between Staines and Weybridge and buses between Ascot and Aldershot. On Easter Sunday, there are more buses, this time from Staines to Woking, plus buses from Ascot to Aldershot.
- The lines between Yeovil Junction and Honiton will be closed whilst Network Rail carry out earthworks, rail maintenance and level crossing works, On Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Easter Monday, trains towards Exeter will terminate at Yeovil Junction. A bus will run between Yeovil Junction and Honiton calling at Crewkerne and Axminster, then a train completes the journey from Honiton to Exeter St David’s. On Sunday 17th only, this extends all the way between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St David’s. Trains towards Exeter will terminate at Yeovil Junction then a fast bus will run between Yeovil Junction and Exeter St David’s calling at Crewkerne, Axminster Honiton and Exeter Central. There will also be a stopping bus between Axminster and Exeter St David’s calling at Honiton, Feniton, Wimple, Cranbrook, Pinhoe and Exeter Central.
- On Easter Sunday track maintenance work between Eastleigh and Fareham means there will be a reduced service running between Waterloo and Eastleigh and the line between Eastleigh and Fareham will be closed. There will be an hourly bus between Eastleigh and Fareham calling at Hedge End and Botley.