Passengers are reminded a Dorset railway line will be closed for seven days from this weekend for major engineering works on the route.

Bridge renewal work has been planned at Yetminster on the Weymouth to Bristol line (Great Western Railway services).

This is among the upgrade works which have been ordered along the route by Network Rail and it has led to sections of line being closed over the past few weekends.

The Yetminster work, upgrading a 129-year-old river bridge, is a major scheme and will mean the line between Weymouth and Yeovil Pen Mill will be closed from Saturday, February 15 to Friday, February 21.

Renewing this bridge will mean trains will no longer have to adhere to a speed restriction.

During the line closure buses will be laid on to transport passengers, extending journey times by more than an hour in some instances as a result. Those planning to travel on this line are urged to check in advance via the website

As well as Weymouth Bristol trains, the works mean South Western Railway’s Saturday services between Weymouth and Yeovil Junction will not run. The work does not affect Weymouth-Waterloo trains (South Western Railway).

Mark Killick, Network Rail Wessex route director, said: “There is never a good time to close an important line for the area’s communities, and we are sorry for the inconvenience the closures will cause.

“This significant piece of work to the bridge will be much easier to maintain and together with a reinforced tunnel and new and refurbished track, there will be a much more reliable railway and better journeys for our passengers.”

Alastair Hutton, Project Manager for Great Western Railway, added: “The Heart of Wessex line is an important route for our customers travelling to or from Weymouth, so we appreciate them bearing with us whilst this essential work is being carried by Network Rail.”

As well as the seven day closure, other works will take place on Saturday, February 29 and Sunday, March 1 when the line between Dorchester West and Yeovil Pen Mill will be closed whilst follow-up work is carried out at Yetminster bridge. The line between Weymouth and Yeovil Pen Mill will be closed for track renewals at Chetnole and between Weymouth and Dorchester West on Saturday, March 28 and Sunday, March 29. Buses will replace trains on these weekends.