Railway customers in parts of South West London are advised to check before travelling this summer as Network Rail starts an upgrade of the railway around Twickenham to improve reliability.
Over six weekends from late August, engineers will replace three separate sets of points, which allow trains to move between tracks, at Twickenham Junction, west of Twickenham station.
Points are a crucial part of the railway and have to be kept in top condition to avoid delaying trains. The work will provide a reliable railway for decades to come.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “This programme of work will boost reliability at a very important junction, where trains run through to Reading and Windsor & Eton Riverside and also access the Strawberry Hill depot.
“Six weekends of work does mean that our customers and those living near the railway will experience some disruption, for which we apologise. Having analysed travel patterns in the area during the week and at weekends, we believe this minimises the impact as much as possible while allowing us to deliver the work that, once complete, means better journeys for everyone.”
The improvements at Twickenham Junction follow a programme of maintenance in 2020, when teams took full advantage of a line closure by also conducting structural work and litter clearance.
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, said: “With such a long series of closures, I realise these works will mean disruption for our customers; however, replacement buses will be in operation wherever lines need to be closed. As customers return to the railway,
“it’s important that these works take place to improve the performance and reliability of the network for years to come. I’d like to thank customers for their patience and remind anyone who’s traveling to plan ahead to see if their journey is affected.”
Over 500 yards of conductor rail, which provide power to trains, will also be renewed to improve reliability on the busy route to Reading and Windsor & Eton Riverside.
Buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) services as follows:
- Sunday 22 August: Buses replace trains between Richmond and Hounslow and between Richmond and Teddington
- Saturday 28 to Monday 31 August (August Bank Holiday weekend): Buses replace trains between Richmond and Hounslow and between Richmond and Teddington
- Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 September: Buses replace trains between Richmond and Hounslow and between Richmond and Teddington
- Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September: Buses replace trains between Richmond or Barnes and Feltham and between Twickenham and Teddington
- Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September: Buses replace trains between Feltham and Barnes and between Twickenham and Teddington
- Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 October: Buses replace trains between Feltham and Barnes and between Twickenham and Teddington
On some days, rail shuttle services will operate between London Waterloo and Richmond, while other services may be diverted or cancelled. Customers should check before they travel with SWR or National Rail Enquiries.
Further information can be found at networkrail.co.uk/twickenham-maintenance and updates will be provided on Network Rail’s Wessex route Twitter account, @NetworkRailWssx
Photo credit: Network Rail