A three-day project to upgrade the railway near Weybridge in Surrey, between Saturday 7 and Monday 9 August, will improve reliability and increase train speeds in the area – but passengers are asked to check before they travel as it includes a weekday.
Network Rail engineers will renew sets of points – which allow trains to move between tracks – and replace worn-out track between Byfleet and New Haw and Weybridge. The scale of the work means that there will be major changes to train times.
It will allow us to remove our two longest standing speed restrictions which have been in place since 2017 which slow trains to local services between London Waterloo and Woking and long-distance services between London Waterloo, Exeter, Portsmouth and Weymouth.
Passengers are advised to plan ahead as trains to and from London Waterloo will be diverted, leave earlier or later than normal and call at additional stops between 7 and 9 August. Local services between Woking and Surbiton and Weybridge and Chertsey will be replaced by buses.
Making the most of the closure, engineers will also improve the canopy at Weybridge station and renew electrical cables in the Esher area.
Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “We really appreciate the patience of our passengers while this upgrade to deliver faster and more reliable services takes place by removing longstanding speed restrictions.
“I know how inconvenient it is to close the line for three days including a Monday, but having looked at passenger numbers, delivering the work in this way will be less disruptive than spreading it over several separate weekends.
“We’re taking advantage of the closure to deliver as much work as we can and I would encourage passengers to check before travelling and to plan ahead.”
Alan Penlington, SWR’s customer experience director, said: “The improvements to this important section of track near Weybridge will improve reliability and punctuality for years to come. Removing these speed restrictions will mean trains can run at line speed again which is great news for our customers.
“With the line closed for three days, one of which being a working Monday, I know there will be some inconvenience for anyone traveling whilst trains aren’t running and I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience whilst these much needed improvements take place.”
When the points are renewed and the track’s alignment is corrected, trains will be able to pass through the area at the full speed of 90 miles per hour, keeping them on time and improving performance.
Network Rail has completed a major project to replace Manton railway bridge in Rutland, which was over 150 years old.
The bridge carries the line between Melton Mowbray and Stamford/Kettering and runs over the busy A6003. Fully replacing it means passenger and freight services can continue running safely and reliably and people in the community can connect to other towns and cities for generations to come.
Work began on the project in April, and the main stage of work to lift the old bridge and install the new, stronger one from underneath took place in June.
Once the new bridge, which weighs around 425 tonnes, was in place, teams completed further brickwork and stonework, moved wires and removed the scaffolding.
The A6003 in Rutland, which links Oakham and Uppingham, was temporarily closed to allow the work to take place safely and it reopened on Sunday 4 July. The road remained open for the final part of the reconstruction.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “This has been a complex job which has significantly affected road users. I am pleased that we handed the road back on schedule and thank everyone for their patience while we carried out this essential investment.
“The line that Manton bridge carries and the A6003 which runs underneath it are both vital links for people in Rutland. Completing this project means that people can travel across the region safely and reliably for years to come.”
Work on the project has completed and the remaining worksites in the area are expected to be removed by Friday 30 July.
Thousands of pounds have been spent making repairs to a Cumbrian Coast line station building which is home to a popular visitor attraction.
Network Rail has invested £30,000 to improve the roof at Millom station where the Millom Heritage and Arts Centre is based.
A leaking roof has now been fixed meaning that the much-loved attraction is ready to welcome back visiting tourists and rail passengers in time for the peak summer season.
The centre has a local social and industrial history museum, an educational rail facility, creative poetry and writing room, café, community ticket and travel information centre and a newly refurbished passenger waiting room.
Karen Hornby, head of performance and customer relations at Network Rail’s North West route, said: “When people think about the inside of a railway station, they may think of a waiting room and a ticket office. But as Millom station shows the space inside can offer so much more to the community.
“This is why I’m proud our £30,000 repairs to fix the roof will keep the Millom Heritage & Arts Centre open for business not just for the summer months, but all year round.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “We would like to thank Network Rail for completing this work. Millom Heritage & Arts Centre is something for visitors to the station, and everyone in the community to embrace, enjoy and be proud of.”
Jade Hughes, Millom Heritage and Arts Centre trustee, said “We’re extremely grateful to Network Rail for coming to our rescue. This now enables us to carry on welcoming visitors from near and far.”
Warren Birch, Cumbrian Coast Line community rail partnership officer, said “This essential piece of work provides a stability to the building that will see Millom Heritage & Arts Centre flourish for many years to come.”
Millom station is located on the picturesque Cumbrian Coast line between Carlisle and Barrow-in-Furness.
This route boasts stunning views of West Cumbrian countryside, the Irish sea and enticing beaches.
Meanwhile passengers returning to the railway can travel in confidence with enhanced cleaning regimes in place.
Rail users are encouraged to wear a face covering while travelling if they can.
Seaton Tramway, Colyton Grammar School and Colyton Heritage Centre have partnered to create a new leaflet guide for visitors called ‘Coly Trail’.
The partnership comes from Seaton Tramway’s ‘Travels Through Heritage and the Axe Valley’ project which is being funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Tramway has been working with students from Colyton Grammar School and volunteers from Colyton Heritage Centre to produce a brand new ‘Coly Trail’ leaflet for Colyton. Designed and printed by the students themselves, the leaflet includes a ‘Brief History of Colyton’ timeline and a map of the key points of interest around the town, including Colyton station. For each point there is also a fun activity for children, so there is something for everyone.
Nicola Berry, Learning and Activities Manager at Seaton Tramway said; “The aim of the Coly Trail project was to engage local young people with the fascinating history of Colyton, giving them opportunities to research, plan and design a leaflet that will appeal to visitors of all ages. It has been a delight to work so closely with the school and the Heritage Centre and we’ve been impressed by the students’ commitment to the project especially given the difficult circumstances due to covid”
The guide will be available from 24th July at Seaton and Colyton Stations & Colyton Heritage Centre and was researched and designed by students Olivia Petrini, Sophie Thwaites, Emily Hales, Meggy Hemery, Marnie Broomby and Sophie Hilton from Colyton Grammar School.
C Harris, Assistant Head teacher, Teacher at Colyton Grammar Said; “This project was of great value to all of the students involved and several of the Year 13 student leaders are now going on to study History or a related course at university. Not only did it give the students a chance to learn some fascinating local history and get stuck into some primary research in the local archives, but it also allowed them to see through the process of designing, developing and finalising a heritage industry brochure for use by the general public. On that note, a special thanks must go to Year 13 Olivia P whose exquisite original artwork helped to bring the final booklet to life.”
Jacqueline McCollough from Colyton Heritage Centre said; “It was a real pleasure for CPHS to participate in this innovative project, initially by supporting Seaton Tramway in its successful bid to the NLHF and then to be able to work with and support students from Colyton Grammar School as they formulated and developed their ideas for designing a new self-guided town walking trail leaflet aimed at younger audiences. The leaflet identifies sites of local interest and key events and facts about the long history of Colyton. This project shows what can be achieved when local organisations work together for the benefit of Colyton and visitors to the town”
This is one of many community-based projects recently announced by Seaton Tramway. Its partnership with Colyton Heritage Centre continues with its new ‘Train’s, Tram’s & Trade’Guided Walk of Colyton scheduled for departure from Colyton Station at 10:30am 14thSeptember. Tickets are available now from Seaton Tramway.
The new guide will be available for purchase at Seaton Tramway stations, Colyton Heritage Centre and Colyton Grammar School.