As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, Great Western Railway are undertaking their largest ever resignalling scheme outside London Paddington in preparation for the opening of the Elizabeth Line. London Paddington will be closed for four days over the holiday period. They have a full plan in place to support customers with alternative journeys, which is on the GWR website at GWR.com/Christmas2017.
As well as the Elizabeth Line work, over Christmas we will be commissioning the new overhead electric line equipment between Didcot Parkway and Maidenhead. This will mean GWR can roll out the rest of our electric fleet of Class 387 trains and can run the Intercity Express Trains under electric power from Didcot to London.
Great Western Railway will also be able to move more of their Turbo trains to the West of England and South Wales. This will mean additional capacity from the return to work after Christmas. However there is still more to do, and GWR will keep rolling out trains through 2018, so that in January 2019 they can introduce more journey time savings from the new trains and improved track.
The timetable changes over Christmas were advised a bit later than usual as there were some requests for extra work. There are therefore a small number of customers who have tickets for trains where the timetable has now been revised. Great Western Railway have contacted everyone we can by email or phone. There are some others where GWR have no contact details and are therefore using station posters, social and traditional media to remind customers to check their travel plans again before they set out.