Engineers faced an enormous task to bring the railway safely back into use as quickly as possible; this is being delivered by stabilising one side of the embankment and shifting the track onto that side.
More work will need to take place longer term to allow a permanent solution to be put into place, and allow for the rebuilding the whole embankment from the bottom up.
Until the permanent solution is in place, trains will run through the affected section at 20mph, you will feel the train slow down for around 70 meters and move to one side and back as it goes over the slued track.
On the 1 April the embankment under a section of track between Bentley and Farnham was showing signs of subsidence. Specialist engineers carried out a track inspection and stabilised the embankment area and a speed restriction of 20mph was imposed to prevent any further movement.
The engineers returned to the site on Wednesday 13 April to inspect the track but further subsidence had occurred. The speed restriction was then reduced to 5mph between Bentley and Farnham. However with a risk of heavy rain forecast on Wednesday night the line was closed as a safety precaution.
A geological survey of the affected area took place on Monday 18 April and further subsidence has been observed within the embankment. Our engineers will be working around the clock until we have re-stabilised the ground, so that we can safely re-open the railway. Following their huge efforts, we have made excellent progress and we can now expect the line to reopen earlier than planned, on Wednesday 4 May.
Rail replacement transportation:
Replacement bus services are operating between Alton, Bentley and Farnham in both directions. Please be advised that from Tuesday 19 April a direct bus will operate between Farnham Station and Alton Station and will no longer call at Bentley village. A minibus shuttle service will operate between Alton Station and Bentley Station and another minibus will operate between Farnham Station and Bentley Station.
The first bus to depart Farnham station towards Alton station will be at 06:33.
Buses will operate on a half hourly basis at XX03 and XX33 past each hour from Farnham station with the exception of 18:25, 18:55, 19:25 and 19:55.
The first minibus to depart Farnham station towards Bentley station will be at 06:33. The last minibus to depart Farnham station towards Bentley station will be at 01:10.
The first minibus to depart Bentley station towards Farnham station will be at 05:30. The last minibus to depart Bentley station towards Farnham will be at 23:54. The first minibus to depart Bentley station towards Alton station will be at 07:02. The last minibus to depart Bentley station towards Alton will be at 23:02.
The first bus to depart Alton station towards Farnham stations will be at 05:25.
Buses will operate on a half hourly basis at XX25 and XX55 past each hour from Alton station with the exception of the 07:15, 07:45, 08:15, 08:45, 16:15, 16:45, 17:15, 17:45 and 18:15.
The first minibus to depart Alton station towards Bentley station will be at 05:45. The last minibus to depart Alton station towards Bentley station will be at 23:54.
A full timetable for replacement buses is available as either a PDF file or JPG.
There will be an amended timetable for Bank Holiday weekend. Please see here for the amended timetables.
Car Parking Information:
During this time train tickets will be valid for travel from other nearby South West Trains stations at which car park season tickets for Alton and Bentley will also be accepted where space is available. Please note that the Farnham car park redevelopment work has been postponed until Monday 9 May, this will allow you to continue to use the car park while emergency engineering work takes place.
Thank you for your continued patience whilst we work hard to reopen the line.
If you would like to make a comment or give us some feedback about your experience with us today, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, 0345 6000 650 (option 4) or fill in the contact us webform http://po.st/ContactSWT
Have you been delayed by over an hour? Please see here for information about compensation - http://po.st/SWTCompensation