Work is going ahead on Saturday 15 January to finish strengthening Landport Viaduct, one of Portsmouth’s most prominent Victorian railway structures.
The viaduct, built in 1876, supports two platforms at at Portsmouth & Southsea station. In January last year teams strengthened ten of its seventeen spans.
Its final seven spans will now be strengthened during an eight-day closure between Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour, affecting South Western Railway (SWR), Great Western Railway (GWR) and Southern services.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “Our long-term project to strengthen the viaduct at Portsmouth & Southsea station is almost complete and this last eight-day closure will allow our engineers to improve the structure’s steelwork and keep trains running through to Portsmouth Harbour for years to come.
“It’s just not possible to do this level of work on the viaduct with trains still running but I appreciate it’s hard for people who rely on the railway and we’re very grateful for their patience with us. Customers should plan ahead next week if they can, as buses will replace trains and some journeys will take longer than normal.”
Christian Neill, SWR’s Customer Experience Director, said: “The improvement work planned in the Portsmouth area in early January will mean a more resilient service for our customers as well as strengthening this important piece of Victorian railway engineering for years to come.
“Closing the railway during the working week and at the weekend will, of course, inconvenience our customers and I’d like to thank anyone traveling with us during these works for their patience and understanding.”
Accordingly, the following changes will be made:
- From Saturday 15 to Saturday 22 January, buses will replace trains from Fratton and Portsmouth & Southsea to Portsmouth Harbour.
- On Sunday 23, buses will replace trains from Havant and Fareham to Portsmouth Harbour.
- On the weekends of Saturday 15 and Sunday 16, plus Saturday 22 and Sunday 23, services between London Waterloo and Portsmouth & Southsea will be diverted via Chertsey, with journeys taking longer than normal.
With the viaduct fully strengthened, trains will be able to continue running at full line speed through Portsmouth & Southsea, keeping services on time.