Improvements between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth

Posted: 23 October 2023 | | No comments yet

Network Rail completed railway reliability improvements between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth, after a five-day closure.

There was a five-day closure between Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth. Engineers completed key upgrades for more reliable customer journeys.

The railway reopened as planned on Saturday morning following the closure from Monday 16th to Friday 20th October. During this period buses replaced Great Western Railway (GWR) trains.

During the five days the railway was closed, Network Rail’s team of engineers worked around the clock to replace 758m of outdated 1950s track between Maiden Newton and Chetnole in Cattistock. The old-style track needed to be renewed and brought up to modern standards to help reduce the number of speed restrictions that are put in place during warmer weather, helping ensure customers enjoy smoother and more reliable journeys in the future.

“We know how important this stretch of railway is and last week’s upgrades are the latest efforts in a three-year period in which we’ve invested a significant amount to bring smoother and more reliable journeys for our customers travelling between Somerset and Dorset,” Oliver Frost, Network Rail project director, said.

Network Rail took advantage of the extended line closure to maximise the amount of work achieved, completing multiple improvements at various locations, including:

  • Erecting scaffolding at Evershot tunnel to repair and repoint the brickwork.
  • Renewing over 1800m of track through Thornford station and replacing old wooden sleepers with new, more durable concrete sleepers.
  • Refurbishing Maiden Newton station including repairing the canopies and giving the station building a fresh lick of paint.
  • Installing new tactile paving at Yeovil Pen Mill station.
  • Clearing overgrown vegetation and completing maintenance on key pieces of railway infrastructure along the line.

This latest work follows upgrades completed earlier this year between February and March in which engineers successfully complete two back-to-back five-day closures between Castle Cary/Yeovil Pen Mill and Weymouth.

“These slightly longer closures enable us to really maximise the opportunity to complete a wide range of upgrades in a more cost-effective way while reducing the need for the need for regular, smaller closures of the railway which would be more disruptive to customers,” added Frost.

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