A key rail link across the Thames in west London will be closed for a week in late July due to bridge repairs.

Barnes rail bridge (c) ianVisits

The rail bridge crosses the Thames at Barnes,, and Network Rail says that it needs to replace all 48 solid wooden “wheel timbers” supporting the track across the Grade II-listed structure. Wheel timbers differ from traditional railway sleepers in that they provide extra strength and length in areas such as river bridges and are generally wider and longer than sleepers.

During the closure, the rail engineers will also be installing new baseplates, which connect the tracks to the sleepers, and improving the alignment of the tracks approaching and leaving the bridge.

As part of this closure, they’ll renew 1.4km of conductor rail, the electric rail that powers the trains between South Acton and Brentford, to reduce faults on the line. Maintenance teams will also replace the track between Isleworth and Hounslow and carry out work on the electrified rail between Kew Bridge and Chiswick.

During this closure, buses will replace some South Western Railway services between Barnes and Feltham.

Buses will operate as per the following:

  • Sunday 28th July – Buses will replace trains between Barnes and Feltham via Hounslow
  • Mon 29th July to Fri 2nd August – Buses replace trains between Barnes and Kew Bridge only. Trains will run to and from Kew Bridge to Feltham.

Mon 29th July to Fri 2nd August closure

The pedestrian crossing across the bridge isn’t affected by the works.


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  1. Julian B says:

    South Acton is on the Mildmay (North London Line). The current freight-only connection between NLL and Brentford is not yet electrified.

  2. Paul Raven-Hill says:

    Get your facts right before publishing. South Acton is NOT on the Hounslow Loop.

  3. Nathan Jay says:

    Ian’s information is usually 100% correct.
    There is no need for rude comments!

  4. Simon Walton says:

    Your enthusiasm, passion, and attention to detail is laudable and gratefully received, Mr Raven-Hill. Your apology will be even more so.

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