CUSTOMERS are being advised to only travel via train if necessary between Christmas and New Year as essential repair work will be taking place.

South Western Railway will run a reduced service between Woking and Basingstoke, affecting travel into London Waterloo from Wednesday, December 27 to Friday, December 29.

Essential works will take place to repair a landslip that created cracks of up to 45 metres long and 50cm deep near Brookwood in Surrey, first reported on December 1.

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Tiny sensors in the ground, known as remote condition monitoring, detected movement in a 100-metre-long slope next to the St John’s Hill Road overbridge.

Network Rail engineers will require access to two out of the four tracks, resulting in the reduced timetable.

Ahead of the work, customers are being urged to only travel during the three days if absolutely necessary, and plan their journey ahead.

Stuart Meek, South Western Railway’s chief operating officer, said: “This is a complex repair that our colleagues at Network Rail have been working hard to complete.

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"To make more progress, they will once again require access to two of the four tracks in the area which, while disruptive, is the best option available.

“As we will only have half the number of tracks available, we will need to reduce our services as we did some weeks ago.

"Our advice to customers is that, if their trains run between Woking and Basingstoke, they should only travel if absolutely necessary.

“Services to Basingstoke, Southampton, Portsmouth via Basingstoke, Salisbury and Exeter St David’s will all be affected.

"Please check very carefully if you do have to travel. We’re very sorry for the continued disruption and appreciate our customers’ patience.”