A three-day project to upgrade the railway near Weybridge in Surrey, between Saturday 7 and Monday 9 August, will improve reliability and increase train speeds in the area – but passengers are asked to check before they travel as it includes a weekday.
Network Rail engineers will renew sets of points – which allow trains to move between tracks – and replace worn-out track between Byfleet and New Haw and Weybridge. The scale of the work means that there will be major changes to train times.
It will allow us to remove our two longest standing speed restrictions which have been in place since 2017 which slow trains to local services between London Waterloo and Woking and long-distance services between London Waterloo, Exeter, Portsmouth and Weymouth.
Passengers are advised to plan ahead as trains to and from London Waterloo will be diverted, leave earlier or later than normal and call at additional stops between 7 and 9 August. Local services between Woking and Surbiton and Weybridge and Chertsey will be replaced by buses.
Making the most of the closure, engineers will also improve the canopy at Weybridge station and renew electrical cables in the Esher area.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “We really appreciate the patience of our passengers while this upgrade to deliver faster and more reliable services takes place by removing longstanding speed restrictions.
“I know how inconvenient it is to close the line for three days including a Monday, but having looked at passenger numbers, delivering the work in this way will be less disruptive than spreading it over several separate weekends.
“We’re taking advantage of the closure to deliver as much work as we can and I would encourage passengers to check before travelling and to plan ahead.”
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, said: “The improvements to this important section of track near Weybridge will improve reliability and punctuality for years to come. Removing these speed restrictions will mean trains can run at line speed again which is great news for our customers.
“With the line closed for three days, one of which being a working Monday, I know there will be some inconvenience for anyone traveling whilst trains aren’t running and I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience whilst these much needed improvements take place.”
When the points are renewed and the track’s alignment is corrected, trains will be able to pass through the area at the full speed of 90 miles per hour, keeping them on time and improving performance.
Photo credit: Network Rail