Rail companies offer thanks to passengers following Christmas works

Tuesday 05th January 2016
Great Western Railway and Network Rail would like to thank passengers for their patience following the completion, on time, of railway improvement work in the south west and Thames Valley.

As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, an extensive programme of work took place over Christmas and the New Year to prepare the Great Western Main Line for the arrival of electrification, the new fleet of Super Express Trains and Crossrail services from 2018. The work included:

  • Station upgrades in west London at Ealing Broadway, Hayes and Harlington and Southall
  • Major track work at a number of sites in west London to allow for increased capacity and to improve reliability
  • Upgrading the overhead power lines between Acton and the junction to Heathrow airport
  • Re-aligning the tracks at Heathrow junction and installing a new set of points, to enable trains to move from one track to another
  • Electrification preparation work in west London and Berkshire
  • The extension of platform 14 at Paddington station in preparation for the longer Super Express Trains
  • The replacement of Stratton Green bridge in Swindon with a new, higher bridge to make the additional room needed for the overhead electrification lines that will be installed underneath
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said:
“The Great Western network is already seeing the biggest investment since Brunel, and these improvement works will in time allow passengers to take advantage of the full benefits of electrification; providing newer trains, faster, more frequent services and importantly, given the growth this network has seen in recent years, more seats.”

Commenting on the works between 24 December and 3 January, Mark Langman Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Our work over this Christmas and New Year was one of the biggest packages of improvement work on the Western route to date.

“I’m pleased to announce that all the upgrades were completed on time and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while this essential modernisation work took place.”

The modernisation and upgrade work will continue during 2016 with major work being carried out across the Great Western network including lowering the track in preparation for electrification in the Severn Tunnel, between Bristol and Bath and a major flood prevention scheme near Oxford.