A MULTI-MILLION-POUND rail upgrade project has been completed on time.

Railway passengers are now able to travel through Southampton again after Network Rail successfully completed £8 million pounds worth of track renewal work on schedule over the Christmas period.

The replacing of worn-out infrastructure will now mean more reliable journeys for passengers travelling in and out of Southampton, as well as reducing track noise for residents living close to the railway near Northam Junction.

During the Southampton work, more than 100 engineers worked in shifts around the clock, from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, to complete the upgrade on time, replacing in more than 6,000 meters of cabling and 200 meters of track being replaced.

As a result, buses replaced trains between Southampton Airport Parkway and Southampton Central during the works.

The work formed part of Network Rail’s biggest-ever Christmas investment in Britain’s rail infrastructure, with more than £160 million spent nationwide to improve journeys for passengers.

Becky Lumlock, route manager for Network Rail’s Wessex Route, said: “This upgrade work was essential to replace worn out kit and means we can now provide a more reliable service to passengers through a critical part of our busy network; around 164,000 trains have passed over these tracks in the last year alone.  

“I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we delivered this project."