Vital weekend works set to affect rail journey in South Wales

Friday 18th January 2019

Work is due to get underway on Network Rail’s scheme to complete the electrification of the railway between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff.

The work will see engineers install overhead wiring, enabling Great Western Railway’s new Intercity Express Trains to run under electric power through to Newport and on towards Cardiff Central. 

 Electrifying overhead wires

The completion of the work, and a new timetable agreed with Network Rail, will allow GWR to provide quicker journeys between South Wales and London.

To achieve this Network Rail engineering work is planned to take place at weekends and during bank holidays from this Sunday through to October, including:

  • Sunday 20 January
  • Sunday 10 February
  • Sunday 17 February
  • Sunday 31 March

The planned upgrade work will also include four days over Easter, from Friday 19 (Good Friday) to Monday 22 April (Easter Monday), when the Severn Tunnel will be shut, extending to Severn Tunnel Junction.

GWR Operations Director Rob Mullen said:

“We appreciate that this work will impact a number of weekend journeys for a large part of the year and we would like to thank our customers in advance for their understanding and patience.

“Our new Intercity Express Trains are already providing significant improvements for passengers and with the completion of electrification to Cardiff, and a new timetable agreed with Network Rail, we will also be able to provide quicker journeys.”

An extensive bus and coach replacement service will be provided to keep passengers moving, but people are being warned to check their journey beforehand, as the bus service will take longer than the trains they replace. 

Network Rail then plans to energise the route from July to October, affecting stations between Patchway (Bristol) and Bridgend.

For details of amended timetables, including rail replacement services, visit