Network Rail is reminding passengers of closures starting this Saturday to enable signalling work on South Western Railway routes in South West London and Berkshire.
From Saturday 19 August to Friday 1 September, buses will replace trains as the railway closes in three parts between Barnes and Virginia Water, Windsor & Eton Riverside and Hounslow, to allow newly-installed digital signals to be switched on.
Feltham to Wokingham resignalling programme // Credit: Network Rail
From Saturday (19 August), Network Rail engineers will work night and day for fourteen consecutive days, switching on 116 signals and finishing upgrades to seven level crossings. The signals have been installed over the last four years as part of the Over the past four years, as part of the Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme. Network Rail engineers have also installed eleven kilometres new cabling housed in fourteen kilometres of refurbished cable ducts, twenty-seven new under-track cable routes to support the new digital system, and have upgraded seven level crossings.
The existing system is controlled from the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and uses signals and track circuits that date back to 1974 and have become less reliable and more difficult to maintain. Control will be moved to the Basingstoke Rail Operating Centre, which is shared by Network Rail and SWR.
Once the new signals are switched on, passengers journeys on the Windsor Lines – a key route for commuters in and out of London – will be more reliable and subject to fewer delays.
The Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme is due to be completed early next year, once upgrades to signalling equipment controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box are finished. Between them, the two locations control eighty miles of railway and five hundred pieces of signalling equipment.
By the time the resignalling is completed, thirteen level crossings will also have been renewed or upgraded.
The three parts of the upcoming closure are as follows:
- Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 August inclusive: Staines to Virginia Water
- Monday 21 to Saturday 26 August inclusive: Staines to Windsor & Eton Riverside
- Sunday 27 August to Friday 1 September inclusive: Barnes to Virginia Water/ Windsor & Eton Riverside and Hounslow
Network Rail is advising passengers to check before they travel using journey planners, which are now up to date.
Windsor & Eton Riverside station // Credit: Britain From Above
These level crossings will be closed while Network Rail workers finish upgrading them, with step-free travel arrangements available at each closed crossing:
- Mays Road: closed from 2100 Sunday 20 August to 0600 Saturday 26 August
- Datchett Road: closed from 2000 Sunday 27 August to 0600 Monday 28 August and a from 2100 Monday 28 August to 2100 Friday 1 September
- Wood Lane: closed from 0130 Sunday 27 August to 0600 Saturday 2 September
- Grove Park: closed from 2200 Sunday 27 to 0600 Monday 28 August and overnight Monday 28 August to 0600 Tuesday 29 August
- Egham: closed from 0100 Saturday 19 to 2000 Saturday 29 August
- Thorpe Lane: closed from 2200 Monday 28 to 0600 Tuesday 29 August
- Pooley Green: closed from 2100 Tuesday 29 to 0600 Wednesday 30 August.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “At the end of this month we will reach a significant milestone of our wider Feltham and Wokingham resignalling programme with the switching on of the new signals on the Windsor Lines.
“Our engineers will be working tirelessly over this forthcoming 14-day period to commission the new signals, which we know will help improve reliability and reduce the likelihood of delays on this important stretch of railway.
“I’d like to say sorry in advance to any customers impacted by this work and thank them for their patience and understanding during this time.”
Peter Williams, South Western Railway’s customer and commercial director, said: “We strongly advise our customers to check journey planners carefully before travelling, as there are three stages to this closure involving different sections of the line, and journeys using rail replacement bus and amended train services may take longer than usual.
“I’d like to thank customers for their continued patience as Network Rail carries out this important programme of upgrades on a very busy part of our network.”