Electrification 2018

We’re already running new trains between London Paddington and South Wales, and Network Rail is working to electrify more of the route so we can provide faster journey times.
    
As a result, on various dates throughout 2018, some services will run to an amended timetable; others will be replaced by coaches. Some journey times may be longer than normal.

Network Rail is currently unable to confirm train times until around six weeks in advance, so we recommend you check prior to travelling to ensure your journey plans haven’t changed.
 
Check before you travel at GWR.com/Check.

Didcot Parkway to Swindon and Bristol Parkway

The first phase of planned engineering work for electrification will affect services running between Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham, Bristol Parkway and Gloucester.

As a result, there will be no trains via Swindon on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 April, or Saturday 26, Sunday 27 and Monday 28 May (public holiday).

Trains

  • London Paddington to Cardiff Central or Swanseaservices will be diverted (adding up to 40 minutes to the usual journey time) and won’t call at Didcot Parkway or Swindon; trains will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway on Saturdays 14 April and 26 May, plus Monday 28 May
  • London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-super-Mare or Taunton, services will be diverted (adding up to 20 minutes to the usual journey time) and won’t call at Didcot Parkway, Swindon or Chippenham
  • London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa, services cancelled; trains run from Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway for services towards Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa
  • between Chippenham and Bristol Temple Meads, hourly shuttle services will run on Saturdays 14 April and 26 May, and Monday 28 May
  • between Chippenham and Westbury, trains will run except on Sundays when coaches replace trains

BusReplacement coaches

Coaches will replace trains between the following stations:

  Journey time:  Frequency: 
Reading and Swindon  Approx. 60 mins
Half hourly 
Swindon and Kemble
Approx. 30 mins  Hourly 
Swindon and Chippenham  Approx. 30 mins  Hourly  
Swindon and Didcot Parkway  Approx. 50 mins  Hourly  
Swindon and Bristol Parkway/Patchway  Approx. 45 mins  Hourly  
Swindon and Gloucester  Approx. 50 mins  Hourly 
Swindon and Bath Spa (Sundays only)  Approx. 60 mins  Hourly 
Chippenham and Westbury (Sundays only)  Approx. 50 mins  Every two hours 
  • we’ll use a range of step-free buses and standard coaches
  • if you are mobility restricted, and your route involves a replacement bus, speak to a member of staff, or contact our Assisted Travel team
  • only folding bikes can be carried on replacement buses

Ticket acceptance

On Saturday 26, Sunday 27 or Monday 28 May if you need to get to London via Gloucester or Cheltenham Spa, you can take any train to Birmingham New Street and then change there for services to London Euston instead.

Network Rail is planning further electrification work along the route later in the year, starting with work between Bristol Parkway and Swindon on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July.
 
More details will be available soon.

Bristol Parkway to Cardiff Central

April and May

Upgrade work is taking place on the route between Cardiff Central and the Severn Tunnel during April and May – trains to and from South Wales will still run but to an amended timetable.

Monday 23 April until Friday 25 May (excluding weekends)

Between London Paddington and Swansea, services will depart earlier than usual from Swansea for London Paddington and arrive later at Swansea from London Paddington.

Monday 30 April until Friday 18 May (excluding weekends)

Between Cardiff Central and Taunton, services will run to an amended timetable, most will start/terminate at Bristol Parkway – change here for services to and from Cardiff Central.

Between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbour, services will run to an amended timetable, some will call additionally at Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction.

Monday 20 May until Friday 25 May 

Between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbour, services will run to an amended timetable, most will start/terminate at Bristol Temple Meads – change here for services to and from Bristol Parkway or Cardiff Central.

Between Cardiff Central and Taunton, services will run to an amended timetable.

Check your journey before you travel at GWR.com/Check.

June and July

The Patchway and Severn tunnels will be closed for electrification work from Saturday 16 June to Friday 6 July, inclusive. As a result, long distance services between London Paddington and South Wales will run to an amended timetable, and buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport. 

Trains

  • between London Paddington and Swansea, one train an hour which will not call at Bristol Parkway and be diverted adding around 40 minutes to the usual journey time; there are no through trains on Sundays 17 June or 1 July
  • between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, one train an hour
  • between Portsmouth/Taunton and Cardiff Central, services will start/terminate at Bristol Parkway instead of Cardiff Central; change at Bristol Parkway for connecting coaches to Newport; trains run from Newport to Cardiff Central, although there will be fewer than usual
  • between Newport and Swansea (via Cardiff Central), a shuttle service will be operating on Sunday 17 June (all day) and Sunday 1 July (until 1400); there will be fewer trains than usual on all days

BusReplacement coaches

Summary of services:

  Options:  Approximate journey time: 
Bristol Parkway and Newport  Direct (every 30 minutes)  40 minutes 
Calling at Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction (hourly)  50 minutes 
  • we’ll use a range of step-free buses and standard coaches
  • if you are mobility restricted, and your route involves a replacement bus, speak to a member of staff, or contact our Assisted Travel team
  • only folding bikes can be carried on replacement buses

Special events

Rolling Stones
Principality Stadium – Cardiff
Friday 15 June

Cricket – England & Wales v Australia
SSE SWALEC Stadium – Cardiff 
Saturday 16 June

Ed Sheeran
Principality Stadium – Cardiff
Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 June

Cricket – England & Wales v India
SSE SWALEC Stadium – Cardiff 
Friday 6 July

There will be fewer trains than normal both before and after these events due to rail upgrade work.

Network Rail has not confirmed yet how train timetables will be affected, so details may be subject to change at short notice. 

If you intend to travel with us, we recommend you check your journey plans carefully.

Check before you travel at GWR.com/Check.

Further work, linked to electrification, is planned in the Bristol area during 2018. To find out more, visit GWR.com/Bristol2018.

Check your journey