Extended Suspension of Waterloo Services This Summer

Work on Barnes Bridge means line will be shut for six days

Barnes Bridge. Picture: Network Rail

May 15, 2024

People intending to travel into London from stations in Brentford and Isleworth this summer may have to make alternative plans.

Network Rail has announced that is planning to close Barnes Bridge for an extended period.

It is upgrading the 129 years old structure and renewing track on the Hounslow Loop from Sunday 28 July to Friday 2 August.

On Sunday 28 July buses will replace trains between Barnes and Feltham via Hounslow and from Monday 29 July to Friday 2 August buses replace trains between Barnes and Kew Bridge only with trains running to and from Kew Bridge to Feltham.

The work will see the replacement of all 48 solid wooden blocks that support the track across the Grade II listed structure. These blocks, known as wheel timbers, will be replaced with a more sustainable, weather resistant material.

Engineers will also be installing new baseplates, which connect the tracks to the sleepers, and improving the alignment of the tracks approaching and leaving the bridge.

This work is being undertaken because many of the current wheel timbers are old and no longer fit for purpose. By renewing the wheel timbers with lighter, more weather resistant blocks, Network Rail says it is creating a better more sustainable railway, as the new blocks last 30 years longer than the current blocks. They also require less maintenance which should mean fewer weekend closures in the future.

While the bridge is shut, Network Rail will also renew 1.4km of conductor rail, the electric rail that powers the trains, between South Acton and Brentford. Maintenance teams will be replacing track between Isleworth and Hounslow and working on the electrified rail between Kew Bridge and Chiswick. This should also reduce the need for weekend closures going forward.

Network Rail says that renewing the conductor rail between South Acton and Brentford will also mean more reliable journeys for passengers in the area as new equipment is less prone to faults.

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