Upgrading the railway in the Wessex and South Coast area

Wessex

Network Rail will be carrying out essential maintenance of the railway this autumn to help support the introduction of new train services from December.

To ensure greater reliability, track is being replaced between Warminster and Southampton Central, between Frome and Castle Cary as well as between Havant and Chichester.

In addition, a bridge strengthening project is taking place at Salisbury and tunnel work will also be happening near Dorchester on the Weymouth line.

Most of this planned engineering work will take place at weekends, except for the Chichester track renewals affecting Great Western Railway trains to/from Brighton.

Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September

Work will be taking place to replace tracks at Romsey as well as bridge maintenance at Salisbury.

As a result, buses replace trains between Salisbury and Southampton Central on both dates.

Sunday 29 September

Track renewal will be taking place between Warminster and Romsey.

As a result, buses replace trains between Warminster and Southampton Central.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October

Tunnel repairs will be carried out in the Dorchester area.

As a result, buses replace trains between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth on both dates.

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October

Track renewal will be taking place between Frome and Castle Cary as well as bridge maintenance at Salisbury.

As a result, the following changes to services will affect both dates:

  • trains between London Paddington and Plymouth/Penzance will divert via an alternative route, extending normal journey times by around 30 minutes
  • trains will run between London Paddington and Frome, calling at stations between Reading and Westbury
  • buses replace trains between Frome and Castle Cary/Taunton
  • buses replace trains between Salisbury and Southampton Central (Saturday) or Warminster and Southampton Central (Sunday)

Saturday 26 October to Sunday 3 November

Track renewal work will be taking place in the Chichester area.

The following amendments to the timetable will be in place:

  • Great Western Railway trains between Brighton and Bristol Temple Meads will start/terminate at Portsmouth Harbour instead, calling additionally at Swanwick
  • South Western Railway trains will run between Portsmouth Harbour and Havant and between Southampton Central and Portsmouth & Southsea (via Fareham)
  • Southern trains will run between Brighton and Chichester (weekdays) or between Brighton and Barnham (weekends)
  • replacement buses will run between Havant and Chichester (weekdays) or between Havant and Barnham (weekends)
  • buses will also operate between Havant and Fareham (weekends only)

South Western Railway tickets will be valid on Great Western Railway services between Portsmouth Harbour and Southampton Central.

Sunday 27 October

Track renewal will be taking place between Salisbury and Romsey.

As a result, buses replace trains between Salisbury and Southampton Central.

Looking ahead

Further track renewal work will be taking place in the Chichester area on Sundays 10 and 17 November, Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December.

The impact on train services will mirror that for weekends during the nine-day blockade in October and November (see above).

From Sunday 15 December 2019 the times of trains will be changing, we’ll be running more services on key routes and many journey times will be faster.

To find out more please visit our New Timetable page.

Other planned engineering work

Work will also be taking place affecting train services in the Bristol area on some of the above dates – for more details, please check our Bristol page.