Botley line doubling and more platforms at Portsmouth recommended

INFRASTRUCTURE INVENTIONS are recommended to enable an additional two trains per hour between Portsmouth and Southampton in Network Rail’s Solent Connectivity study.

The aspiration in the study is to achieve a four trains per hour (tph) service network-wide across the Solent area. The favoured option from those tested was an additional 2tph between Portsmouth, Southampton, Totton and beyond, with a skip-stop pattern easier to timetable than an all-stations service. Also considered feasible is an additional 2tph between Portsmouth and Winchester via Eastleigh, comprising one all stations and one skip-stop service. 

To achieve these, five key infrastructure interventions are recommended to be taken forward into the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline (RNEP) process. Particularly significant are long single-track sections on the Botley line between Eastleigh and Fareham, with a 700-metre section at the Eastleigh end and a 4.5-mile section from Botley to Fareham, which could also hinder aspirations for new stations at Welborne Garden Village or Allington Lane. Redoubling is recommended, although it is suggested double tracking through Tapnage and Fareham tunnels would be ‘very challenging’ and they would remain as single track.

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