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, some services will run to an amended timetable; others will be replaced by coaches and some journey times may be longer than normal.

Check before you travel at GWR.com/Check.

Please note: for a temporary period, Network Rail is unable to confirm train timetables as far in advance as usual. As a result, we expect online journey planners to be updated in the week leading up to periods of rail improvement work. For the latest information, please check your journey details immediately prior to travelling.

Swindon to Bristol Parkway

30 June and 1 July

Network Rail is planning upgrade work linked to electrification between Swindon and Bristol Parkway on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July.  

Trains between London Paddington, South Wales and Bristol Temple Meads will be diverted, adding to usual journey times. Coaches will replace train services through the Swindon area.


  • London Paddington to Cardiff Central or Swanseaservices will be diverted between Reading and Bristol Parkway (adding up to 40 minutes to the usual journey time) and won’t call at Didcot Parkway or Swindon – on Sunday 1 July, services from London Paddington will terminate at Bristol Parkway, where connecting coaches will run to Newport for trains to Cardiff Central and Swansea
  • London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare, will be diverted between Reading and Bath Spa (adding up to 20 minutes to the usual journey time) and won’t call at Didcot Parkway, Swindon or Chippenham

BusReplacement coaches

Coaches will replace trains between:

  • Didcot Parkway and Chippenham (calling at Swindon)
  • Swindon and Bristol Parkway
Electrification bus replacement map

Bristol Parkway to Cardiff Central

16 June to 6 July
The Patchway and Severn tunnels will be closed for upgrade work linked to electrification 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 won't call at Bristol Parkway.

There will be a reduced service operating between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway with just one train an hour at peak times. You may need to change at Bristol Temple Meads for trains to Bristol Parkway. 

Coaches will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport as well as between Bristol Parkway, Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction.

From Monday 2 July until Friday 6 July, replacement coaches will be extended from Newport to Cardiff Central due to reduced Arriva Trains Wales services operating as a result of upgrade work in the Cwmbran area.


  • 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 Sunday 1 July
  • between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, limited service only – trains will continue to run between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads
  • 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 Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Parkway, trains will terminate at Filton Abbey Wood instead, where trains will run to and from Bristol Parkway
  • between Newport and Swansea (via Cardiff Central), a shuttle service will be operating on Sunday 1 July (until 14:00); there will be fewer trains than usual 

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

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.

Remainder of 2018

6 July to 3 December 

There will be reduced capacity on the lines between Newport and Cardiff Central whilst Network Rail carries out upgrade work linked to electrification.

Services will continue to operate but may take longer than usual. We would recommend that you check your journey before your travel at GWR.com/Check.


Autumn 2018

15 September to 7 October 

Later in the year, services via Bristol Parkway will be affected by upgrade work for three weeks from Saturday 15 September until Sunday 7 October (including weekdays).

This is to enable Network Rail to install electrification equipment at Bristol Parkway.

13 to 14 October

Further work to complete the installation of overhead electrical equipment at Bristol Parkway is due to take place on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October.

During these periods, all routes to and from Bristol Parkway are expected to be replaced by buses, including:

  • between Swindon and Newport
  • between Yate and Filton Abbey Wood

More details will be available soon.

Further upgrade work is planned during 2018 between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway.

To find out more, visit

Check your journey