Published on : Friday, June 3, 2016
Over two weeks this summer, Network Rail is spending £6m to address the recurring issue of flooding on the line between Fulwell and Shepperton, particularly at the Fulwell Tunnel, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.
In order to carry out the upgrade, it will be necessary for Network Rail to close the railway from Shepperton to Teddington and Strawberry Hill for two weeks, from 16 to 30 July. Trains from Waterloo will terminate at Teddington and Strawberry Hill stations.
The line was built as a freight line in 1864, below the water level due to the need to pass under the Longford River. It was used for passenger services from 1901 and electrified in 1916. Network Rail will now carry out vital upgrade work to the drainage system, including building a new pumping station.
Hector Kidds, Senior Asset Engineer at Network Rail said, “Passengers travelling on the Fulwell to Shepperton line will know all too well the problems flooding can cause.“Over the years a number of solutions have been attempted, but this time we’re taking a different approach, installing a new pumping station that will significantly reduce the impact of flooding on passenger train services.
“I’d like to thank passengers and those living near the line for their patience and understanding. Passengers should check before they travel as there will be some temporary disruption while we carry out this upgrade.”
Arthur Pretorius, Customer Service Director for South West Trains, said: “We know how frustrating it is for passengers when their journeys are disrupted. The works being carried out this July will significantly improve the drainage system in this area and help to provide better and more reliable journeys for our passengers who rely on these services.“I would urge all passengers to check for information on our website and at stations so they understand their travel options while the works are carried out.”
While the line is closed for the drainage upgrade, Network Rail will also take the opportunity to carry out preparatory work for planned replacement of the signalling system on this stretch of track. This brings forward part of a larger programme of resignalling work taking place in south west London and will reduce the need for future closures of the line for this work. The new signalling system is planned to be brought into use in October 2017.
During the closure from 16 to 30 July, South West Trains will operate a bus replacement service between Shepperton and Teddington/Strawberry Hill to keep passengers moving, and passengers are advised to check before they travel during this time.