Campus travel updates

Updates for everyone travelling to the University of Bath

Tagged: gwr

Changes to rail travel schedules over Christmas period


📥  Public transport

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

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.


Rail service disruptions in July

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📥  Public transport, Travel Update

Work to widen the platforms at Bath Spa has now been successfully completed and Network Rail have moved on to work on the track around Swindon and Chippenham. This work will cause disruption from Saturday 8 July through Sunday 16 July. Services between London and Bristol Temple Meads will be diverted and there will be a reduced service for Swindon and Bath Spa during this period.

Changes to services - Saturday 8, Sunday 9 and Sunday 16 July

Between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads - two High Speed Trains an hour in each direction

  • One calling at Reading, Didcot Parkway and Swindon
  • One calling at Reading and Bath Spa

Replacement buses

Replacement buses will run between Bath Spa and Swindon via Chippenham as well as on the TransWilts line. Trains will continue to run between Trowbridge and Westbury.


Changes to services - Monday 10 July to Saturday 15 July

Between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads - two High Speed Trains an hour in each direction

  • One calling at Reading, Didcot Parkway and Swindon
  • One calling at Reading and Bath Spa

Between Bristol Temple Meads and Chippenham

  • One train an hour in each direction

Between Westbury and Swindon via Melksham

  • Trains will start and terminate at Chippenham

Replacement buses

Replacement buses will run between Swindon and Chippenham.


Changes to Swindon, Bristol, Didcot Parkway and Chippenham rail services: 27-29 May and 10-11 June

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📥  Public transport, Travel Update

Network Rail will be undertaking work in the Swindon area to prepare for their new trains which enter service later this year. As a result of this, train services through Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway will be amended.

High speed services between London, Bristol and South Wales will be diverted and rail replacement buses will replace trains on routes through Swindon.

More information can be found here


Heat speed restrictions on the railways

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📥  Public transport

Due to speed restrictions put in place by Network Rail between 1.30pm and 7pm Tuesday 19 July, GWR is warning customers that journeys are expected to take longer than usual.

With rail track temperatures set to exceed 50 degrees in parts of London and the Thames Valley, speed restrictions have been put in place throughout the main junctions into and out of London Paddington.

While the vast majority of services are expected to operate as timetabled, journeys may take between 10-15 minutes longer. Customers are advised to check before they travel, to drink plenty of water, and are being asked to help our staff keep a lookout for the more vulnerable making journeys today.

A GWR spokesperson said:

“With temperatures in London set to exceed 30 degrees, the effect can bring the temperature of the rails to over 50 degrees, and we have been asked by Network Rail to drive more slowly as a result.

“We will continue to keep an eye on the situation, alongside Network Rail, and keep you updated throughout the day.”

A spokesperson for Network Rail explained:

“Our modern rails are far more resistant to heat expansion and buckling than they used to be.  However, a day this hot affects even our track, so we need to restrict speeds for safety.  Full details are available on our website at”

To be able to maintain the train timetable, the following services are expected to be cancelled:

  • All Thames Valley branch lines to remain in branch operation but with no direct London services.
  • London Paddington to Bedwyn and return services will operate between Bedwyn and Reading only
  • London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa and return will operate between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa only
  • London Paddington to Oxford direct (calling Slough, Reading, Didcot and Oxford) and return services are cancelled. Passengers are advised to travel to Didcot for connecting services to Oxford.

Passengers are advised to check their specific journey before they travel.


New bicycle policy on GWR long distance high speed trains

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📥  Public transport

GWR are introducing compulsory bicycle reservations on long distance high speed trains from 16 May. GWR have said:

"This will bring us in line with other long distance operators and we will compensate customers if we do not provide them with their booked space.

Reservations remain free and can be made online, by phone (0345 7000 125) or at a station when booking a ticket. Reservations can also be made after the ticket is purchased by phone or at a ticket office. This should be done by 18:00 the day before departure, although we can take bookings on some services up to 2 hours before departure.

We would like to encourage pre-booking as much as possible, but we understand that there will be times when booking has not been possible and there is space is available on board.

Station staff have been briefed to allow bikes on board if this is the case. Customers should not therefore have any issues travelling without booking a space for their cycle if there is space on board.

There is no change to our local services, and no limit to the number of folding bikes we can carry because these can be stored in the luggage racks. We are installing Brompton Docks at more of our stations, so that customers can hire a folding bike. We are also increasing bike racks at some stations for customers who do not want to take their bike on board."

More information and the cycle policy booklet are available on the GWR website.