Passengers travelling through Southampton this Christmas advised to plan ahead as £8 million project to renew railway is delivered

  • Work will take place from 24 December to 1 January, with significant alteration to services
  • Buses will replace trains between Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway; and Southampton Central and Fareham
  • Journeys on the line between London, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth affected
  • Passengers advised to plan their journey ahead and travel before Christmas Eve

South Western Railway passengers have been urged to plan ahead this Christmas as the line between Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central will be closed because of vital engineering work. The line between Fareham and Southampton Central station will also be closed. Bus replacement services will be in place.

Network Rail will be carrying out track engineering work in Southampton at Mount Pleasant Road next to the River Itchen with all journeys through the Southampton area affected, including between London and Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth.

The work is part of an £8 million investment to renew railway infrastructure in Southampton, giving passengers more reliable journeys and reducing track noise for our lineside neighbours. More than 100 engineers and track staff will be working shifts 24 hours a day to replace 6,000m of cabling and 200m of track.

Journeys on Sunday 10 December and Sunday 17 December will also be affected by the work and passengers are advised to check times and travel arrangements in advance.

Chris Loder, head of service strategy for South Western Railway, said:

“The line is closed at Southampton and our timetable for Hampshire and Dorset will change over Christmas and some weekends in December and January.

“We encourage passengers to avoid travelling on Christmas Eve if they can and to be prepared for longer journey times between Christmas and New Year. We’re doing all we can to minimise disruption and make sure we get all our passengers to their destination over the festive period. Please check before travelling, either online or at one of our stations.”

Becky Lumlock, Network Rail’s route managing director, said:

“We’re investing £8 million to give our passengers in and out of Southampton more reliable journeys. The new tracks will also mean less noise for our neighbours.

“This is a busy part of the network with around 164,000 trains passing over these tracks in the last year alone. The kit is worn-out and old and it’s vital we replace it now to avoid significant future disruption to our passengers

“We thank people for their patience in advance and apologise for the disruption this will cause. We know there’s never a good time to do this and that’s why my team will be working 24 hours a day, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day to deliver this as quickly as possible.”