Sorry to put a ding in your Monday morning, but anyone if anyone is planning to use the train station at Portsmouth Harbour over the next few months is going to be in for a bit of a disappointment.
Clarence Old Boy, Ventnor Blog’s very own Kate Adie, battling his way though the FastCat/
Mainland train on a daily basis, reports from afar (well, off the Island anyway) that the engineering works that have been carried out throughout January have been extended beyond the original end date of the 4 February.
The date now being quoted as the resumption of normality is the 18th March with the line closure stretching beyond Fratton at certain times.
James Burt, South West Trains Operations Director whisked up a reason as to why this was justified, “The new signalling kit is not yet ready to take over train operation, and more time is needed to get the reliability to higher levels.”
Before you get in a huff with South West Trains about this, it’s worth noting that the work is being carried out by Network Rail, who are responsible for the railway lines, not SW Trains.
The details of the works are …
* Phase Four – from Monday 5 February to Wednesday 14 March 2007 the lines from Portsmouth Harbour to Fratton will reopen with a limited service of two services per hour and one First Great Western service per hour. Southern train services will continue to terminate at Fratton and a shuttle bus service will remain in operation during this time.
* Phase Five Ã¢â‚¬” from Thursday 15 March to Sunday 18 March the lines from Portsmouth Harbour to Petersfield, Fareham and Chichester will be closed. On Sunday 18 March the closure will extend to between Portsmouth Harbour and Haslemere, Swanwick and Eastleigh. Replacement buses will be in operation during this time.
Sadly mothers with babies and others are the big losers with this as
cycles, prams and items of bulky luggage cannot be carried on buses or taxis provided to replace train services during engineering work.
For those of you who like to avoid extra stress, there’s always the Southampton->East Cowes service, which we don’t think has been affected, but doesn’t benefit from an on-Island train service to near Ventnor.
One benefit of that line is they now have the larger-seated white trains, not the blue trains that are currently causing a bit of a hoo-har Portsmouth-side leading to the no450 passenger pressure group.
Details of the now-very-complex timetable changes are held on their site.
Good luck yawl.