04:24PM, Tuesday 23 February 2021
There will be no trains between Staines and Windsor and Eton Riverside from Saturday, March 6 until Friday, March 12 due to a major signalling upgrade.
The Windsor branch of the South Western Railway network will close for seven days to allow engineers to prepare the ground for new signals, carry out track and bridge maintenance and clear litter and graffiti.
Replacement buses will run between Windsor and Staines.
On Sunday, March 7 essential work will take place on the A30 Staines bypass bridge, crossing the railway between Staines and Wraysbury stations. One lane of the bypass will be closed between 1am and 2pm as engineers complete repairs to brickwork and remove scaffolding at track-level.
There will also be no Great Western Railway services in the Windsor area on Sunday, March 7 as Network Rail is upgrading the overhead wires near London Paddington.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “We’re making the most of this quieter time on our railway to make improvements and carry out important maintenance, and this week-long closure will allow us to complete a whole programme of work that would otherwise take many more weekend closures, stretching through the year.
“The work forms an important part of our Feltham-Wokingham Re-signalling Programme, which will transform reliability for passengers travelling around South West London and towards Reading and Windsor. Our existing signalling is becoming harder and harder to maintain, so this is an important project to improve reliability and keep both trains and passengers moving.
“We’re grateful to our passengers and those living close to the line for their patience while we complete these improvements. Although not many people are travelling with us now, those that are travelling are so important to the country and we are working hard to look after them and create a better railway for everyone.”
The major signalling work includes:
- Foundations for 21 new signals will be installed along the five mile line as part of the Feltham-Wokingham Resignalling Programme, a long-term upgrade project to replace signalling dating back to the 1970s, controlled by Network Rail’s Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box.
- Engineers will also work on signal cabling at two level crossings in Datchet and at both Datchet and Sunnymeads stations.
- Railway bridges at Black Potts Ait, an island on the River Thames near Windsor, and crossing the Colne Brook river in Wraysbury, will be improved. Engineers will install new timber supports for rails to improve each structure’s resilience.
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, said: “This closure is part of a major signalling upgrade which will see greater reliability and ensure the resilience of train services in the area which is good for customers.
“Whilst there is never a good time to close the railway, these works are taking place when fewer people are travelling. I realise that any closure will disrupt our customers that need to travel, however, replacement buses will be in operation and staff will be on hand to help customers complete their journey.
"I’d like to thank customers for their patience and remind anyone who is making an essential journey to check online before they travel.”
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