Travelling by train this Christmas? Advice for Bristol customers

Wednesday 16th December 2015


GWR is urging passengers to check journey times before they travel over the Christmas period as Network Rail carry out vital works to modernise the rail infrastructure.

Services will be altered between Thursday 24 December and Sunday 3 January as part of a programme of engineering in the Thames Valley needed for the launch of Crossrail in 2019, and continued works to electrify the Great Western mainline.

The railway line between Slough and London Paddington will be closed on 27 and 28 December with mainline services diverted away from London Paddington, and a revised timetable will operate between 29 December and Sunday 3 January.

Services will finish earlier than normal on Christmas Eve with the last train departing for Bristol Temple Meads at 21.45 and Bristol Parkway at 20.15.

Sunday 27 and Monday 28 December
  • For Bath and Bristol Temple Meads an hourly service will run between London Waterloo and Bristol Temple Meads calling at Basingstoke, Reading, Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath Spa and Bristol Temple Meads, extending journey times by up to 80 minutes
  • An additional hourly service train will run between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads
  • For Bristol Parkway an hourly service will run between London Marylebone and Swansea, calling at Banbury, Oxford, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and station stops Swansea. The diversion via Banbury will extend journey times by up to 90 minutes.
Tuesday 29 December to Sunday 3 January
  • We will run to a revised timetable with an half-hourly service to Bristol Temple Meads operating the usual route from London Paddington
  • An hourly service will serve Bristol Parkway operating the usual route from London Paddington calling at Reading, Swindon, Bristol Parkway and stations stops to Swansea.
Saturday 2 January

The line will be closed between Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-Super-Mare and replacement buses will run between these stations. Trains will continue to operate between Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton.

Sunday 3 January


The line will be closed between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton and replacement buses will run between these stations. CrossCountry trains will run services between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton, via Bath and Westbury, extending journey times.

A spokesperson for GWR said:

"We have been talking to our passengers about the CrossRail and electrification projects for some time and we are grateful to them for their understanding while we work to keep disruption to a minimum.

"Some of these improvement works form part of the wider £7.5 billion scheme to improve capacity and connectivity on the Great Western Main Line which will ultimately deliver more trains more frequent services and quicker journeys."

Those travelling to Heathrow should allow extra time for their journey, as there will be no Heathrow Express or Heathrow Connect services on Sunday 27 and Monday 28 December. You can take the Piccadilly Line or London buses where tickets will be accepted. If you are travelling from the west of Reading, change at Reading for the RailAir coach link to Heathrow (an additional coach ticket will be required).

Full details can be found at https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates.