Work has now been completed to improve track and drainage between Southampton and Bournemouth.
More than 100 engineers carried out the project between 1 and 5 November. They worked across several locations along the 42km route as part of a £3 million package of improvements to improve track quality and drainage, reducing delays for customers.
Part of the work included the use of a rail vac – a huge rail-mounted vacuum cleaner – at Hinton Admiral to suck up the old ballast.
Using a large crane and battling against high winds, the team also installed a new electric substation at Lymington, which will help to improve power supply in the area once it is fully functional.
Now the work is finished, Network Rail has been able to remove a temporary speed restriction and prevent others, so trains can run at their normal speed.
Network Rail Wessex route director, Mark Killick, said: “This critical improvement work will make journeys better for customers as the track and signals will be more reliable.
“Through it all, our customers and people who live by the railway have been really understanding and patient. We know people would prefer to have been on trains than buses, but by doing the work over five days – rather than across multiple weekends – we can complete the work much more quickly.”
During the five days, engineers worked day and night to:
- Upgrade track circuits at Totton, Beaulieu Road, Brockenhurst and Christchurch;
- Replace wheeltimbers over the Avon and Stour rivers on either side of Christchurch station;
- Improve drainage in the Totton and Ashurst areas to help prevent delays caused by flooding.