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Newbury area rail improvements

Updated February 2023

What’s happening

In early 2023, Network Rail will be carrying out a programme of rail upgrades between Taunton and Reading.

The first phase of these works will be in the Newbury area from Saturday 18 February to Thursday 2 March 2023.

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.

Map of planned engineering work affecting rail services in Newbury in March and February 2023. Full details of these changes and advice are available in this page.

Download a PDF version of this map (PDF, 474 KB).

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
  • Buses will replace all trains at stations between Theale and Westbury
  • Most services between Swindon and Westbury will run to a revised timetable. Buses will replace most trains on weekdays.
  • Trains will continue to run between Reading and Theale until 20:00 (weekdays) and all day on Saturdays.

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.
  • Car park spaces will be significantly reduced at Theale during these works. Please avoid parking here to connect with trains if you can.

Replacement buses

Route Frequency Journey time
Theale* – Thatcham – Newbury – Hungerford – Bedwyn Hourly (every 2 hours on Sundays) 75 minutes
Theale* – 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
Westbury – Trowbridge – Melksham – Chippenham Every 2 hours (weekdays only) 45 minutes

*Extends to/from Reading after 20:00 on weekdays and all day on Sundays (buses do not stop at Reading West)

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
Bedwyn Main station entrance
Chippenham Short stay car park
Hungerford Station car park
Kintbury Dundas Arms car park
Melksham Station car park
Midgham On Bath Road (A4) at The Angel pub
Newbury Station Road
Newbury Racecourse Bus stops near the station entrance on Hanbridge Road
Pewsey Station forecourt
Reading Northern entrance
Swindon Front of the station
Thatcham Outside station building on Pipers Lane
Theale Station car park
Trowbridge Station car park adjacent to Platform 1 (ticket office side)
Westbury Front of the station

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

Changing at Theale station

Theale will be the main interchange station between bus and train for customers travelling to/from the Newbury area.

All trains will use Platform 3 at Theale which is step-free accessible. However please be aware that there are no departure screens or announcements on the platform. Please ask a member of staff for advice if you need it.

To allow our replacement buses to run, there will be a significant parking space reduction at Theale station.

We strongly advise you avoid parking at Theale if possible. Please consider using the replacement buses from your local station to ensure a smooth journey with us.

Information for season ticket holders

While these works are taking place, customers with monthly or longer season tickets between Thatcham and Pewsey will be able to use them on the following routes from:

  • Andover
  • Basingstoke
  • Chippenham (Pewsey only)
  • Didcot Parkway
  • Grateley
  • Overton*
  • Swindon
  • Whitchurch*

*very limited parking available at these stations.

Car park permit holders

Customers holding valid APCOA season permits at Thatcham, Newbury (south car park), Hungerford and Pewsey will be able to park free of charge at:

  • Didcot Parkway (Foxhall car park)
  • Chippenham (CP1 and CP3 car parks)

TransWilts (Swindon to Westbury) services

In order to allow diverted passenger and freight trains to run, most stopping trains between Swindon and Westbury will be replaced by buses on weekdays, running between Chippenham and Westbury instead.

Trains will still run non-stop between Swindon and Westbury but these will depart at different times to normal TransWilts services.

Stopping trans will continue to run on Saturdays and Sunday but will depart at different times to normal so remember to check carefully before travelling.

During this time, customers with tickets routed 'via Melksham' may also travel on trains via Bath Spa instead.

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.