Heart of Wessex line improvements this spring

Grecian 1998

27 Oct 2019

Whilst long closures are never ideal, this sounds good, and this section of the route is certainly busier in summer. I'm not sure how much scope there is for journey time improvements though. The speed limit between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yetminster is currently 45mph for a little over 4 miles, and with most trains slowing in order to stop at Thornford on request, I can't see much opportunity to save time even if the linespeed for the whole section was increased to 75mph, which is the maximum between Yeovil and Dorchester.

The biggest speed-restricting factors currently seem to be the 15mph pneumatic points at Yeovil, Maiden Newton and Dorchester West. Maiden Newton in particular always seems to take forever to get through, which I assume is due to changing from one single line working procedure to another through the loop. However I doubt anything will change until the equipment is life-expired.

I note Dorchester to Weymouth is also closing one weekend - hopefully the long-standing speed restriction southbound through Bincombe Tunnel might also be eased at some point (if it hasn't already).