LEVEL crossings between Farncombe and Sheet are to be replaced as part of work to improve the service on the Waterloo to Portsmouth rail line.

Crossings at Liss station, Liss Common, Princes Bridge in Liss, Sheet and Kingsfernsden Lane on the outskirts of Petersfield will be out of commission while the work takes place.

At the moment, they are automatic half-barrier crossings, whereby the barriers are initiated by approaching trains.

But they are monitored by a signaller to ensure they are working properly, in this case at Petersfield station signal box.

In February, they will be replaced by manually-controlled barriers with CCTV. The CCTV will be viewed at a new signal hub in Basingstoke to make sure the barriers are working.

The new barriers are part of work to replace the existing ageing signals systems on the line with a new hi-tech digital signalling system operated from the Basingstoke hub.

This will see Petersfield signal box decommissioned and mothballed.

Network Rail provides the infrastructure for rail lines, and a project spokesman said: “Between early 2022 and late 2024 we’ll be carrying out a large programme of work which includes a major resignalling project, upgrades to level crossings and renewing sections of track and switches and crossings. Work will be carried out on weekends and, in some cases, during line weekday line closures.

“When we’re finished in 2024, our passengers can expect faster journeys, the potential for more train services, fewer delays and safer level crossings.

“As part of this work, Petersfield signal box will be shut down, but it won’t be demolished and we are hoping to find a community use for it.”

On Saturday, February 12, then from Monday, February 14 to the Friday, South Western Railway services will start and terminate at Guildford.

Buses will replace trains between Guildford and Petersfield, and a rail shuttle will run between Petersfield and Portsmouth Harbour.