A 500-TONNE crane will put in place a new section of track as upgrade work to Southampton’s railway line progresses.

Workers today will put together a scissor crossover track in the car park at Southampton Central station before putting it in place.

The work is part of Network Rail and South West Trains Alliance’s £20m upgrade to the city’s railway system, as reported by the Daily Echo.

The upgrade got under way at the beginning of March and is expected to last another four weeks.

Up to 30 new sets of points will be added between Southampton Central and Redbridge stations in a move that will “improve the reliability of trains”.

It marks the biggest overhaul of the line since a £15m project to redevelop the tunnel in 2010.

The plans sparked controversy as thousands of passengers were met with the prospect of delays and cancellations.

It led to a plea for patience from Jim Morgan, infrastructure director, who said the work was down to Southampton’s success as a city.

Passengers have gone up by 1.5m in the last ten years and the success of the city’s port is seeing more freight trains travelling in and out of Southampton.

So far engineers have dug up sets of crossings at Millbrook and Redbridge, and work has now approached Southampton Central station itself.

Workers will put together a scissors crossover track in the car park tomorrow before a 500-tonne crane will lift it and put it into place.

A spokesman for Network Rail, which is carrying out the work, said: “The project is going really well.

“We have done everything we set out to do so far. We have been working through weekends to reduce disruption and we are now ready for the next stage of work at the west side of the station.

“There is a lot of complex engineering to be achieved.”