The line between Barnes Bridge and Hounslow is closed until further notice due to engineers needing to access the underside of Barnes Bridge to carry out repairs.
Engineers carrying out planned inspections using specialist ultrasonic instruments found a small number of defects underneath the Victorian, Grade II listed structure which they need to repair before the bridge can reopen for passenger services.
Due to the bridge being a very unique structure, the components that need replacing will take longer to be specially manufactured.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “We’re extremely sorry for the major disruption this closure is causing to our customers. Operating a safe railway must always take priority and we are working to carry out the necessary repairs as soon as we can.
“Engineers found that four out of the 86 large steel pins that are used to hold in place the structural girders, which support the railway tracks above were slightly damaged. Due to the location of the bridge which spans over the River Thames, this makes gaining access to replace the pins much more complex.
“We’re continuing to work closely with our train operating partners at SWR to produce a revised timetable to serve as many stations in the local area as possible.”
Network Rail are also working closely with the Port of London Authority to gain specific access to the underneath of the structure as the work will have an impact on how the river operates.
Peter Williams, South Western Railway’s customer and commercial director, said: “Due to the closure of Barnes Bridge SWR trains are unable to serve Barnes Bridge and Chiswick stations until further notice.
“We are amending some services in the area to provide an hourly service between Waterloo to Kew Bridge via Hounslow. We are very sorry for the delay that this will cause to journeys.”