- The line between Fareham and Eastleigh will close for improvement works between May 23 and 29
- Engineers will install almost a mile of new track between Fareham and Botley
- Passengers will benefit from a more reliable railway and better performing train journeys
- Bus replacement services and train service diversions will keep passengers moving
Network Rail will install almost a mile of new track on the Botley line in Hampshire during a seven day line closure over the May half term school holiday.
Between Saturday 23 and Saturday 29 May engineers will install 1400 metres of new track on a section of the line from Fareham to Eastleigh. Using modern components designed to last up to 60 years, it will help to improve both the railway’s reliability and train performance.
Part of the new track will be installed at Tapnage tunnel between Fareham and Botley, requiring the use of a specialist, ‘New Track Construction’ train which uses a continuous, automated process to quickly lay sleepers and align rails.
To minimise disruption and complete the work as quickly as possible, engineers will work around the clock in a single seven day closure, instead of a series of weekends.
During those seven days there will be no trains between Fareham and Eastleigh. Buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) trains calling at Eastleigh, Hedge End, Botley and Fareham. Great Western Railway (GWR) services will be diverted via Netley whilst Southern services will be diverted via Swanwick.
Passengers are advised to plan their journeys and check before travelling. There will also be limited car parking at Fareham station, with passengers advised to use alternative local car parks.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said:
“We know there’s never a good time to close the railway; a seven day closure during the May half term, when it’s typically quieter, means we can minimise disruption to passengers. The alternative would be many weekend closures over a much longer period.
“Due to its location this will be a challenging track renewal project; once complete, it will provide passengers with a more reliable railway and better performing train journeys.”
Alan Penlington, Customer Experience Director for South Western Railway, said:
“Whilst these works will be disruptive for our customers, they are crucial for improving our network’s infrastructure resulting in a more reliable railway.
“Replacement buses will be in operation between Fareham and Eastleigh, so I would encourage our customers to check their journey before they travel.”