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In November and December 2021 we’re making improvements from Weymouth to Yeovil Pen Mill and Dorchester South.

Yeovil Pen Mill signals
Yeovil Pen Mill signals

Between Thursday 18 November and Friday 3 December 2021, engineers will be working at a number of sites to improve reliability for both Great Western Railway (GWR) and South Western Railway (SWR) services.

Line closures

The line between Dorchester West and Yeovil Pen Mill will be closed for 16 days from Thursday 18 November to Friday 3 December 2021 while we install up to five miles of new track.

On Monday 22 November 2021 the line between Weymouth and Wool will be closed, followed by a four-day closure from Weymouth to Dorchester South from Tuesday 23 to Friday 26 November 2021. These closures will allow engineers to carry out vital maintenance from Dorchester South to Upwey and Weymouth.

Travel information

  • From Thursday 18 November to Friday 3 December 2021, buses will replace GWR services between Weymouth and Yeovil Pen Mill. Please note that journey times are expected to be longer than usual
  • On Monday 22 November 2021, buses will replace SWR services between Wool and Weymouth
  • From Tuesday 23 to Saturday 27 November 2021, buses will replace SWR services between Dorchester South and Weymouth

What we’re doing

The majority of our work will take place between Yeovil Pen Mill and Dorchester West where up to five miles of track will be renewed in the Dorchester West, Maiden Newton, Yetminster and Chetnole areas. Making the most of this closure we will also carry out drainage inspections and bridge maintenance.

Our track renewals are the latest in a number of improvements on the line from Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads, also known as the ‘Heart of Wessex’ line. In February 2019 we replaced a bridge crossing the River Wriggle in Yetminster, while in March 2020 we rescaled a railway cutting and refurbished track in the Yeovil Pen Mill area.

Work taking place on the Heart of Wessex line
Work taking place on the Heart of Wessex line

At Dorchester Junction, between Upwey and Dorchester South, we will carry out maintenance work. Engineers will remove rail defects and change components on a set of points, while also installing new rail lubricators, to reduce noise and provide passengers with smoother journeys.

Finally, there will also be work in the Upwey area. At Bincombe Tunnel between Dorchester South and Upwey, engineers will replace sleepers and remove rail defects. Between Upwey and Weymouth engineers will also make track improvements that will prevent speed restrictions being imposed.

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