Wessex Route: News Across the Route

Waterside Line Consultation

This month we started our consultation on the proposed Waterside Line. On Wednesday 10th August we held a VIP event and the first public drop-in session for the Waterside Line proposals. The VIP session was attended by a number of stakeholders including our Route Director, Mark Killick.

Public drop-ins followed on Thursday 11th in Marchwood, Friday 12th in Totton , Saturday 13th in Hythe and Monday 15th in Fawley. Hundreds of people turned out across the four sessions to get more information on our proposals and to provide their feedback.

There are four more events planned on:

  • Monday 5 September, 18:00-22:00: Marchwood Junior School
  • Tuesday 6 September, 16:00-20:00: Hythe and Dibden Parish Hall
  • Thursday 8 September, 14:00-18:00: Totton and Eling Community Centre
  • Friday 9 September, 10:00-14:00: The Jubilee Hall, Fawley

To read more about The Waterside Line Consultation click here.

Leatherhead Embankment Stabilisation

Next month, we will begin our embankment stabilisation work along the Leatherhead to Guildford rail line at Fetcham. There is a risk to the general stability of the embankment that would pose a real threat to the safety of railway. Our work will give long term sustainability to the embankment to prevent failure which would put the safety of those using the railway at risk.

We’re installing a sheet pile wall along part of the bottom of the embankment to prevent the land slipping and destabilising the track. The installation of this wall means we will need to drill or hammer in deep piles to ensure the wall is strong enough to hold the embankment for many years to come.

Yeovil Pen Mill to Weymouth Line Closure September 2022

This September, our engineers will be working around the clock to replace around one mile of old 1950s-style track between Maiden Newton and Chetnole in Cattistock on the Heart of Wessex line.

Part of the railway will be closed from Saturday 24 until Friday 30 September to carry out the essential work, which will provide smoother journeys for passengers. Trains will continue running as normal between Weymouth to Dorchester South and beyond.

The old-style jointed track needs special care in hot conditions and can result in speed restrictions when temperatures rise, so an upgrade to modern standards will mean greater reliability because in time these speed restrictions will reduce.

Work will also be carried out to maintain signalling at Yeovil Pen Mill signal box, resurface the platform at Yetminster station, as well as carry out repairs to steelwork at Damers Road bridge at Dorchester West station. This is the latest in a series of improvements to the Heart of Wessex line (which connects Weymouth with Bristol Temple Meads on the Great Western Railway network), that previously saw over four miles of track replaced between November and December last year. 

To find out more, click here

Bank Holiday Information

Engineers in Wessex won’t be relaxing this August Bank Holiday (Saturday 27 to Monday 29 August), instead we’ll be completing a range of crucial works to keep our passengers moving. The next stage of the wider Feltham Wokingham resignalling programme kicks off between Hounslow and Virginia Water.

We’ll be installing new signals, which will act as traffic lights of the railway, on the line from Hounslow to Windsor and Virginia Water. On Sunday 28, our teams will be at three locations in the region.

The line from Eastleigh to Fareham will be shut for tunnel exam works, we’ll be maintaining the line from Guildford to Leatherhead and Surbiton. Finally engineering work will be taking place from Aldershot to Alton. During this bank holiday, our passengers are reminded to check before they travel. Pooley Green Level Crossing.

One of Wessex route’s riskiest level crossings, Pooley Green in Egham, is being upgraded as part of the £375 million Feltham-Wokingham Resignalling Programme. The upgrade, which will make the crossing safer and more efficient for pedestrians and road users, will take place during a nine-day closure of Vicarage Road from Saturday 1 to Sunday 9 October.

If you live in the local area or regularly use this level crossing, please check your journey before departing.

Barnes to Feltham – Progress Update

After four days of hard work, the Barnes to Feltham via Hounslow Line was successfully reopened early on Wednesday 17 August.

Work on this next stage of the Feltham Wokingham resignalling programme started on Saturday 13, with teams working round the clock to install new, state of the art signalling technology. Whilst passengers might not see a whole lot of changes, we’re another step closer to rolling out a brand-new signalling system in 2024.

We installed 27 signal heads which will act as traffic lights of the railway and 16 location cabinets to hold the new electronics. Journeys will also be safer with 6 train protection warning system transmitters and 15 axle counters, which help our signallers keep track of trains on the track.

Next up for the Feltham Wokingham resignalling is engineering work from Hounslow to Virginia Water, the line will be closed from Hounslow to Windsor and Virginia Water from Saturday 27 to Sunday 28 August.

Phillip Bell