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Portsmouth Direct Upgrade

We’re upgrading signalling and track on the line from Woking to Portsmouth Harbour, to improve reliability, journey times and potential capacity.

Portsmouth direct web banner with the copy Elevating your commute into Waterloo

Between early 2022 and late 2024 we’ll be carrying out a large programme of work which includes a major resignalling project, upgrades to level crossings and renewing sections of track and switches and crossings.

Work will be carried out on weekends and, in some cases, during weekday line closures. When we’re finished in 2024, our passengers can expect faster journeys, the potential for more train services, fewer delays and safer level crossings.

Planned works

Saturday 21 to Sunday 29 October 2023 – Guildford to Petersfield & Havant line closure

The line between Guildford to Petersfield will be closed between Sunday 21- Saturday 28 October, extending to Havant on 29 October only.

Rail replacement bus services will be in operation during the line closure and more information can be found via the SWR website.

During the line closure we will continue our preparatory work for the Farncombe to Petersfield resignalling scheme (F2P) by installing signal piles, signal posts and laying power cables along the route. We are also delivering a prefabricated signalling equipment building, install new signal gantries at Haslemere station and upgrading several level crossings.

Essential earthworks to stabilise the cuttings at Haslemere, Wormley and Hammer Lane will continue. This will keep the railway safe and help to prevent debris falling on track which cause delays

While the railway is closed, we will also complete other minor works to help keep the railway safe and passengers moving.

Passenger survey

We have designed a short survey to find out how we can keep passengers better informed about future line closures. The survey takes 2 minutes to complete and is anonymous. We appreciate your feedback.

Farncombe to Petersfield Resignalling Scheme (F2P)

The majority of our improvements will be delivered through the F2P scheme, where the existing signalling system will be replaced with a modern equivalent.

Signalling between these two stations is controlled by signal boxes in Farncombe, Haslemere and Petersfield, using equipment dating back to the 1970s. As it nears 50 years of service, it is becoming less reliable and more difficult to maintain.

Under the F2P scheme we will install new, digital signalling technology and move control of the system to our Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in Basingstoke. The three signal boxes will then be decommissioned.

With the new signalling system installed, the line will be more reliable and we will be able to increase the future potential capacity of the line for train services.

Level crossing upgrades

12 level crossings along the route will also be either renewed or upgraded as part of the F2P scheme. We’ll be working on Hammer, Liss, Liss Common, Peasmarsh, Petersfield, Farncombe East, Farncombe West, Milford, Sheet, Shutters, Princes Bridge and Kingsfernsden level crossings.

We’ll change Automatic Half-Barrier (AHB) crossings to either Manually Controlled Barrier CCTV crossings (MCBs) or Obstacle Detection (OD) level crossings; upgrade lighting at existing MCB crossings; and install Miniature Stop Lights (MSLs) on selected footpath crossings. You can find out more about level crossings here.

As part of these upgrades, and as part of other projects, level crossings will need to be temporarily closed. Details can be found in the ‘level crossing closures’ section below.

Level crossing closures

During our improvements we will have to temporarily close some level crossings to road traffic. Closures will be advertised here. Please check back for updates.

Recent works

Monday 24 to Friday 28 August 2023

During a five-day line closure between Guildford and Petersfield engineers continued with preparatory work for the Farncombe to Petersfield (F2P) resignalling scheme. They installed power cables at Haslemere and Farncombe (with accompanying buildings for signalling and electrical equipment) and improving safety at level crossings in the area. Stabilising the cuttings at Haslemere and Wormley was completed and on track machines with drilling attachments drilled 138 8-metre-long steel nails into the cutting slope. This process strengthened and reinforced the soil reducing the likelihood of landslips. Snagging work to switches & crossings (moveable sections of track that guide trains from one track to another allowing them to cross paths safely) was also completed in Haslemere along with redecorating the station canopies and footbridge.

During the closure engineers also:

  • Upgraded Sheet level crossing which involved the decommissioning of old barriers and installing new ones.
  • Installed new piles (foundations) which the new signals will be built on.
  • Installed anti-trespass fencing at Farncombe East.
  • Renewed 106 sleepers, over 400 metres of track and replaced ballast (track stones) at Princes Bridge by Liss station.
  • Managed vegetation along the line to prevent obstructions to the railway.
  • Completed routine track maintenance and rail testing.
  • Monitored and inspected key railway infrastructure to help plan future works.

Saturday 11 to Sunday 19 February 2023

During the nine-day line closure between Guildford and Petersfield, engineers installed a new and improved set of switches and crossings at Haslemere, as essential part of the Portsmouth Direct Upgrade project which will allow the line speed to be increased in 2024.

Signalling between Haslemere and Liphook was also upgraded as part of the Farncombe to Petersfield resignalling (F2P) scheme.

  • Making the most of the closure we also:
  • Demolished a 1930s stone footbridge at Silo Road, replacing it with a new steel footbridge.
  • Completed bridge repairs at Hammer Road and Peasmarsh.
  • Performed track maintenance at several locations.
  • Installed new platform ducting at Farncombe and Milford stations.
  • Renewed the level crossing at Sheet.

Saturday 22 to Sunday 30 October 2022 

During a nine-day closure from Haslemere to Havant, extending to Guildford on weekends, engineers continued work as part of the F2P project whilst a large programme of maintenance took place.  

Engineers working on the S&C renewal near Petersfield station 

As part of the F2P project engineers cleared routes for new signal cables and created new under-track crossings for cables at Petersfield, Princes Bridge and Sheet level crossings, ahead of their upgrades.  

A major switches and crossings (S&C) took place just outside Petersfield station to improve reliability and reduce delays. 

Making the most of the closure we also: 

  • Refurbished the waiting shelter at Rowlands Castle to improve passenger experiences at the station.
  • Performed track maintenance at a number of locations, including in Buriton tunnel to provide smoother journeys. 
  • Installed new conductor rails to improve electrical supplies for trains. 
  • Began installation of a king post wall in the Haslemere area, to strengthen a railway cutting and prevent landslips.
  • Renewed drainage in the Haslemere area to improve reliability in extreme weather.

Contact us

For more information or to get in touch with us, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.

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