Engineers have worked around the clock over the last four days to replace the deck of a 129-year-old bridge, as part of a series of improvements on the Heart of Wessex line between Weymouth and Yeovil Pen Mill.

Last night, engineers replaced the deck of Yetminster river bridge in Dorset to provide a new, more reliable support for the track.

With the deck in place, engineers will now install new track ready for the line reopening on Saturday 22 February.

Once the project is complete it will enable better performing train journeys along the route.

Andy Parker, project manager for Network Rail Wessex, said: “The team has worked incredibly hard to make these improvements to the Heart of Wessex line, braving the rough conditions of Storm Dennis last weekend to ensure we made good progress.

“By replacing the bridge deck, we will have reached a significant milestone in the Yetminster project that when complete, will deliver a more reliable railway with better performing train journeys for our passengers.”

Once work is complete on the bridge, there will be two further weekend closures on the Heart of Wessex line:

  • Saturday 29 February – Sunday 1 March – the line between Yeovil Pen Mill and Dorchester West will be closed whilst follow-up work is carried out at Yetminster river bridge.
  • Saturday 28 March – Sunday 29 March – the line between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth will be closed for track renewals at Chetnole and between Dorchester West and Weymouth.

Passengers should check before travelling using the Great Western Railway (GWR) and South Western Railway (SWR) websites. For more information on our Heart of Wessex line improvements, visit networkrail.co.uk/heart-of-wessex.