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Easter 2023 rail improvements

Updated February 2023

What’s happening

This Easter, Network Rail will be carrying out a programme of rail upgrades in the Reading and Basingstoke areas.

These works will take place across the full Easter weekend from Friday 7 to Monday 10 April 2023.

Further engineering work is also planned on Sunday 16 and Sunday 23 April, plus Sunday 14 May.

This work is essential to protect the ongoing safety of the route and involves relaying life-expired track, replacing lineside equipment and renewing structures.

This page will guide you through what’s happening, highlighting the services affected and providing clear advice to help you travel as smoothly as possible during this time.

A map showing disruption during rail improvements in Easter 2023. Full information is available in the page below.

Download a PDF version of this map (PDF, 458 KB).

In addition to the routes shown above, further trains services in the Basingstoke area will be replaced by buses. To find out more visit National Rail.

What it means to our services

  • Long-distance trains between London Paddington and Devon/Cornwall will be diverted. Journey times will be extended by around 30 minutes
  • No trains will stop at stations between Reading and Westbury/Basingstoke. Replacement buses will run on these routes instead.

Our advice

  • Check carefully before travelling, departure times may be different to normal
  • Journey times will be extended so allow plenty of time to arrive at your destination
  • If your journey involves a replacement bus, check where the bus will depart from as this may not be next to the station. Use our handy table further down this page.

Replacement buses

Route Frequency Journey time
Reading – Theale – Thatcham – Newbury – Hungerford – Bedwyn Hourly (every 2 hours on Sundays) 75 minutes
Reading – Newbury (stopping at all stations) Hourly (every 2 hours on Sundays) 40 minutes
Newbury/Hungerford – Kintbury Hourly (every 2 hours on Sundays) 20 minutes
Swindon – Pewsey Every 2 hours 50 minutes
Reading – Basingstoke (non-stop) Every 2 hours 40 minutes
Reading – Mortimer – Bramley – Basingstoke Hourly 80 minutes
Reading – Basingstoke – Winchester (operated by CrossCountry) Hourly 75 minutes
Reading – Basingstoke – Overton – Whitchurch – Andover (operated by South Western Railway) Hourly (Sunday only) 1 hour 40 minutes

Travelling from Kintbury?

The level crossing at Kintbury station will be closed to allow Network Rail to carry out improvements. As a result, a shuttle bus will run from Kintbury to Newbury and Hungerford instead.

We are only able to run minibuses on these routes, so capacity may be limited at peak times. Please consider travelling at quieter times or starting your journey at Newbury instead.

Where to catch our replacement buses

Buses will depart from the following locations:

Station Bus stop location
Aldermaston Bus stops on Basingstoke Road
Basingstoke Station forecourt
Bedwyn Main station entrance
Bramley To Reading – Bus stop outside estate agents
To Basingstoke – Opposite estate agents (unmarked bus stop)
Hungerford Station car park
Kintbury Dundas Arms car park
Midgham On Bath Road (A4) at The Angel pub
Mortimer Station forecourt
Newbury Station Road
Newbury Racecourse Bus stops near the station entrance on Hanbridge Road
Pewsey Station forecourt
Reading Northern entrance
Reading West To Reading – Oxford Road bus stop under the railway bridge
To Newbury – Oxford Road bus stop outside McDonalds (subject to work completion)
Swindon Front of the station
Thatcham Outside station building on Pipers Lane
Theale Station car park

Have any questions about our replacement buses?

Please visit our Replacement Buses page for all the information you need, including:

  • Types of replacement buses we operate
  • Travelling with animals, bikes, pushchairs or large items of luggage
  • On-board facilities
  • Changing between train and bus
  • Accessibility

Help with your journey

If you are not able to travel on our replacement services, an accessible taxi can be arranged for you. You can do this by:

  • booking in advance at
  • speaking to a member of staff at the station on the day of travel*
  • use the Help Point available at all of our stations on the day of travel*

*Please allow additional time as an accessible taxi may not be available immediately. Booking in advance is the best way to ensure a smooth journey.

Still have questions?

If there is something you would like to ask us, get in touch with our team on social media, on Facebook or Twitter.