Network Rail has encouraged passengers to plan ahead and allow plenty of time as, starting today, buses replace South Western Railway (SWR), Great Western Railway (GWR) and Southern trains between Southampton Central and Havant, Eastleigh and Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central and Portsmouth Harbour.
Between Monday 12 February and Friday 16 February, Network Rail engineers will be working around the clock to upgrade the railway in the Portsmouth and Fareham areas.
At Portsmouth Harbour station, engineers will renew 1094m of track across four platforms at the station. The work will involve replacing jointed rails, examining rails, fixing baseplates to track and installing sleepers which will extend the life expectancy of the track for a further 20 years meaning less maintenance will be needed.
While the railway in Portsmouth is closed, engineers will also refurbish 592m of rail at Vernon Bridge. The work involves replacing jointed rails as well as renewing wheel timbers – the heavy wooden blocks which support the track on Portsmouth’s iconic Landport viaduct.
In the Fareham area, engineers will replace sleepers and ballast (track stones) as well as renew 600m of jointed curved rail to provide customers with smoother journeys.
Engineers will also continue upgrading the signalling system between St Denys and Swanwick as part of the wider Southampton Area Life Extension programme which will see over 12,000m of signalling cables installed to bring the system up to modern standards and extend it’s life by a further 50 years, meaning fewer faults and delays.
Extra work includes upgrades to switches and crossings (sections of track that help trains move from one side to another) and clearing trees and shrubs.