Ticket acceptance, refunds and compensation arrangements
Over the weekend of Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 January, heavy rain caused part of a railway embankment to collapse between Hook and Winchfield stations on the South West Main Line, which connects London Waterloo with Basingstoke.
The landslip took place on a very busy part of our route. On a normal weekday morning, around 13 trains per hour run through this section, with services between London Waterloo and Basingstoke, Exeter St Davids, Portsmouth Harbour (via Eastleigh), Salisbury, Southampton Central, Winchester and Weymouth.
The landslip has left a 44-metre stretch of track suspended in mid-air and only one of the four tracks available for trains to run on. This severely restricted the number of services we could run between Monday 16 and Friday 20.
Over the weekend of Saturday 21 and Sunday 22, Network Rail carried out initial repairs. This restored an additional track to increase capacity between Basingstoke and Woking.
From Monday 23 we are running the following services. Customers are advised to check before travelling and allow extra time to complete their journeys.
- Two trains per hour between London Waterloo and Weymouth
- One train per hour between London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh
- One stopping train service per hour between London Waterloo and Basingstoke, with no additional morning peak services
- One train per hour between London Waterloo and Salisbury and Exeter St Davids, with additional peak services terminating at Basingstoke
- Trains from London will not call at Hook, due to the location of the landslip. A minibus service will instead operate between Winchfield and Hook.
This timetable is under regular review, so please check back for any updates to these services.
Due to its scale and complexity, a full repair of the embankment and restoration of the full timetable is likely to take a number of weeks. We will provide updates as they become available.
We expect to operate our typical Saturday and Sunday service levels on upcoming weekends whilst the landslip is repaired. However, there may be short notice changes as Network Rail access the railway to fully repair the embankment.
We are advising customers to check their entire journey on the day of travel, as there may be other engineering work taking place on our network and this will have an impact on which services are operating.
For more information, please visit our engineering work page here.
What is causing this disruption?
We are very sorry that a major landslip in the Hook area is reducing the number of trains that can safely operate through the area, and has caused significant disruption on some parts of the network.
Stuart Meek, our Chief Operating Officer, explains how the landslip is affecting services and the reason for recent disruption:
The landslip means the number of services that can run between Basingstoke and Woking has been temporarily reduced.
At first, trains were unable to call at Hook, Winchfield and Fleet, however, following initial repairs, these stations are now being served. Due to the location of the landslip, trains from London are unable to call at Hook. Instead, a minibus service is operating between Winchfield and Hook.
Days of heavy rainfall caused an 1830s 10-metre-high clay embankment, supporting 44 metres of railway, to slide from underneath the tracks. This has left the tracks hanging in mid-air and unable to support trains (see the photos below). This is known to engineers as a ‘rotational failure’.
Normally there are four lines running through the area, two westbound and two eastbound. Both westbound lines were lost in the landslip and will need to be rebuilt by Network Rail, which is responsible for maintaining the railway’s infrastructure.
On Friday 27 January, Network Rail provided an update from the site of the landslip, with work underway to provide a permanent fix and restore the four track railway.
We are sorry for the ongoing disruption caused by the major landslip in the Hook area, and we will inform customers of any updates as soon as we are able to do so.
For the most up to date service information, please check the Plan My Journey page and the SWR Twitter page. Updates of progress on site will be available on the Network Rail Wessex page.
Network Rail explain the issue
Alternative Travel Arrangements
Train services will be unable to serve Hook until further notice in the direction of Basingstoke (away from London). You should leave the train at Winchfield where a minibus will operate between Winchfield and Hook or you can travel to Basingstoke and travel back to Hook in the direction of London..
Alternatively you can travel from Basingstoke, Winchfield, Woking or stations between Alton & Aldershot. Customers with car park season tickets can also use their ticket to park at one of these SWR stations.
Winchfield and Fleet
Fewer trains will serve Winchfield and Fleet than usual.
Customers who normally travel from Winchfield can travel to/from Basingstoke, Woking or stations between Alton & Aldershot. (Please avoid Farnborough/Farnborough North to avoid overcrowding on services). Customers with car park season tickets can also use their ticket to park at one of these SWR stations.
Customers who normally travel from Fleet can travel to/from Woking or stations between Alton & Aldershot. (Please avoid Farnborough/Farnborough North to avoid overcrowding on services). Customers with car park season tickets can also use their ticket to park at one of these SWR stations.
Customers with Advance tickets
If you have an Advance ticket for a journey affected by this Landslip
- Please travel as close to your booked train as possible. You may travel on an earlier service to connect with other services.
Flexi Season ticket customers
You must ensure that you activate your Flexi Season if you travel from a different station than your ticket is valid for. You will need to download the National Rail Smartcard Manager app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and follow the instructions to activate your Flexi Season ticket as it will not work at another station’s gates or validator.