The line between Barnes Bridge and Hounslow is closed until further notice due to urgent repairs needed on the underside of Barnes Bridge, South Western Railways has confirmed.
Engineers discovered a number of small defects underneath the historic Victorian bridge, a Grade II listed structure from the 1900s, that must be repaired before it is safe for passenger services.
The bridge is a unique structure, and gaining access to the areas that need repair is particularly difficult.
Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “We’re extremely sorry for the major disruption this has caused to train services.
“The safety of our customers always takes priority.”
Killick elaborated that four out of the 86 large steel pins that are used to hold in place the structural girders which support the railway tracks above were slightly damaged and that South Western Railways are putting in place a revised timetable to serve as many stations as possible in the area.
Network Rail is carrying out the repairs and are currently working closely with the Port of London Authority to gain specific access to the underneath of the structure as the works will also impact operations on the river.
Peter Williams, South Western Railways’ customer and commercial director, said: “Due to the closure of Barnes Bridge SWR trains are unable to serve Barnes Bridge and Chiswick stations until further notice.”
Services in the area are being amended to provide an hourly service between Waterloo to Kew Bridge via Hounslow.
Tickets for onward travel to Barnes Bridge and Chiswick will be accepted on buses Feltham and Barnes and on London Underground via any reasonable route.
It is currently not known how long the repairs of Barnes Bridge will go on for.
Train timings will be available in journey planners as soon as possible and more information can be found here.
Featured image: Edwardx @WikimediaCommons (CC BY-SA 4.0)