Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys in advance over this bank holiday weekend as Network Rail prepares to undertake vital work to improve reliability of rail infrastructure.

Track maintenance and work to refurbish switches and crossings – the movable sections of track which allow trains to that guide trains from one track to another – will take place on Sunday, May 5, and Monday, May 6, between London Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Barnes, meaning a reduced train service will run with some lines between London Waterloo and Clapham Junction closed.

Trains may leave London Waterloo from different platforms to normal, so passengers are advised to check departure boards.

Engineering work will also take place in the Havant area over the weekend, meaning buses will replace trains between Petersfield and Portsmouth from Saturday, May 4 to Monday, May 6 (inclusive).

David Dickson, chief operating officer for Network Rail’s Wessex route, said: “I’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us as we carry out important work which will improve the reliability of our infrastructure over the bank holiday weekend.

“The railway is up to 50 per cent quieter than usual over bank holidays, so we undertake work at this time of year to minimise the impact on our passengers.

“If you’re travelling by rail over the bank holiday weekend, please make sure to visit South Western Railway’s website to plan your journey in advance.”

Alan Penlington, customer experience director for South Western Railway, said: “Whilst engineering and maintenance works can be an inconvenience, it is vital that they are carried regularly for the safe running of the railway.

“We’ll be doing all we can to minimise the impact of these works and make sure we get our customers moving and to where they want to be. We would advise customers to check before they travel at and follow @SW_Help for travel updates.”