We’re making changes to the railway around Southampton to accommodate longer freight trains, unlocking more capacity at one of the busiest parts of the UK’s freight network

Between September 2020 and February 2021, engineers will work on a series of improvements to the railway in the Millbrook, Redbridge and Southampton Central areas. 

A series of temporary line closures will then take place on the weekends of January 30-31, February 13-14 and the week of February 15-19.

When we’re finished we’ll be able to transport more freight by rail, take lorries off the roads around Southampton and cut down on emissions. We’ll also incrementally unlock more capacity for rail services across the Southampton area.

What we’re doing

Southampton is a vital location on the UK freight network. The Freightliner Maritime Terminal in Redbridge operates 24 hours a day, six days a week, and is the second busiest container port in the country. Around 800 containers pass through the site every day.

The terminal has capacity for around 14 freight trains a day with a maximum length of 520m. We’re going to increase that capacity to allow trains of 775m in length, which will transport more freight between Southampton, the Midlands and beyond.

We’ve already installed new sidings in the area for those longer trains and now need to modify some sections of track and switches and crossings. To complete the project we then need to commission a new signalling system.

The track modifications will take place between October 2020 and January 2021 on the lines that lead to Southampton Western Docks and the Freightliner Maritime Terminal. This work will primarily take place in the early hours of the morning and will not impact on passenger services.

To commission the new signalling system, engineers will need to temporarily close sections of the railway network in January and February 2021, with passenger services being diverted or replaced by buses.

January and February 2021 line closures

To commission the new signalling system there will be a series of line closures in and around the Southampton area:

  • Saturday 30 January: The lines from Southampton Airport Parkway to Brockenhurst and Romsey to Redbridge will be closed
  • Sunday 31 January: The lines from Eastleigh to Brockenhurst, Romsey to Redbridge, Brockenhurst to Bournemouth and St Denys to Fareham will be closed
  • Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 February: The lines from Eastleigh to Brockenhurst, Romsey to Redbridge and St Denys to Woolston will be closed
  • Monday 15 to Friday 19 February: The line from Southampton to Redbridge will be closed

Bus replacement services will operate and some services will be diverted. For more information, see the Travel Information section.

Travel information

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Southampton Airport Parkway
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Brockenhurst and Weymouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • All services to Southampton Central will terminate at St Denys with a bus replacement service operating from Woolston

CrossCountry

  • Services between Southampton Central and Newcastle, plus Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly, both start and terminate at Southampton Airport Parkway. A Rail replacement bus service will operate from Southampton Airport Parkway to Southampton Central and Bournemouth

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Eastleigh to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Bournemouth and Weymouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • All services will be diverted to Portsmouth & Southsea

CrossCountry

  • Services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will start and terminate at Eastleigh. A Rail replacement bus service will operate from Eastleigh to Southampton Central and Bournemouth

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Eastleigh to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • Shuttle services will operate between Brockenhurst and Weymouth, Portsmouth and Woolston plus Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • All services to Southampton Central and Portsmouth & Southsea will terminate at Chichester due to engineering work in the Havant area

CrossCountry

  • Services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will start and terminate at Eastleigh with a rail replacement bus service to Southampton Central and Bournemouth
  • Passengers for services to York and Newcastle should change at Reading

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Eastleigh
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Eastleigh to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Bournemouth and Weymouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • All services to Southampton Central and Portsmouth & Southsea will terminate at Chichester due to engineering work in the Havant area

CrossCountry

  • Services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will terminate at Eastleigh with a rail replacement bus service to Southampton Central and Bournemouth

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Southampton Central
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Southampton Central
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Brockenhurst and Weymouth
  • A daytime shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Bournemouth/Brockenhurst via Redbridge
  • An evening shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • Services to Southampton Central will run as normal

CrossCountry

  • Services between Southampton Central and Newcastle will run as normal
  • Services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will start and terminate at Southampton Central with a rail replacement bus service to Bournemouth

SWR

  • London Waterloo to Weymouth services will terminate at Southampton Central
  • London Waterloo to Poole services will terminate at Southampton Central
  • Rail replacement bus services will operate from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst and Bournemouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Brockenhurst and Weymouth
  • A shuttle service will operate between Salisbury and Romsey

GWR

  • Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central services will be diverted via Eastleigh and will not call at Southampton Central

Southern

  • Services to Southampton Central will run as normal

CrossCountry

  • Services between Southampton Central and Newcastle will run as normal
  • Services between Bournemouth and Manchester Piccadilly will terminate at Southampton Central with a rail replacement bus service to Bournemouth

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