Major changes to London trains this weekend as major work takes place

Passengers are being asked to check before travelling this weekend (Saturday 7th to Monday 9th August 2021), as Network Rail engineers upgrade sets of points near Weybridge in Surrey.

The work will mean major changes to services between London Waterloo and South West London, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, and Wiltshire.

Points are used to allow trains to move between different lines, and the scale of the work means journeys may take up to 50 minutes longer.

The three-day project means that a number of speed restrictions can be removed, which means that currently, local services between London Waterloo and Woking and long-distance services between London Waterloo, Exeter, Portsmouth, and Weymouth had to run at reduced speeds.

However, once the work is completed, trains will be able to travel through the area at up to 90 miles per hour.

  • Services from Alton to London Waterloo will take around 50 minutes longer, while services from London Waterloo to Alton will start at Woking
  • Services between London Waterloo and Poole and Weymouth will take around 40 minutes longer
  • Services from London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour will take around 30 minutes longer
  • Services from London Waterloo to Basingstoke will take around 25 minutes longer, while services from Basingstoke to London Waterloo will terminate at Woking
  • Services between London Waterloo and Exeter St Davids will start and terminate at Basingstoke

Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “We really appreciate the patience of our passengers during this upgrade to a critical section of the route for both local and long-distance services. The improvements will enable us to remove long-standing speed restrictions and deliver faster and more reliable journeys across a large section of the network.

“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 as some journeys will take longer.”

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 travelling whilst trains aren’t running and I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience whilst these much needed improvements take place.”

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