To prepare for the new Intercity Express Trains, Network Rail need to test the overhead wires in the Reading area which will affect some nearby services.
Replacement buses will run on all routes through Reading, and some long-distance trains will be diverted resulting in longer journey times.
Trains will run on the following routes:
- Bristol Temple Meads to Didcot Parkway/Oxford
- Newbury to Exeter and mainline stations in Devon and Cornwall
- Theale to Newbury/Bedwyn
- Didcot Parkway to Oxford and stations to Worcester
- London Paddington to Maidenhead
Replacement buses will run on the following routes:
- Reading to Maidenhead
- Reading to Reading West, Theale, Newbury
- Reading to Tilehurst, Pangbourne, Goring & Streatley, Cholsey, Didcot Parkway
- Reading to Reading West, Mortimer, Bramley, Basingstoke
- Slough to Newbury
- Maidenhead to Twyford
- Twyford to Wargrave, Shiplake, Henley-on-Thames
- There is also work taking place between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff on these dates.
If you’re planning to travel between London and South Wales, please check your journey carefully.
Network Rail is carrying out work to electrify the railway through tunnels between Bristol Parkway and Swindon.
They are also building a new platform at Bristol Parkway station, making everything ready for the new Intercity Express Trains in autumn 2017.
Services in the area will be amended, and some journeys will be extended. Buses will replace trains on some routes.
Bristol Parkway upgrade: 19 August - 15 September
19 August - 1 September
- High speed services only affected
- High speed services will call at Patchway, instead of Bristol Parkway – except for at peak times
- Replacement buses will run between Bristol Parkway and Patchway
2 September - 15 September
- High speed and local services affected
- High speed services will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway – except for at peak times
- replacement buses will run between Bristol Parkway and Patchway
- local services between Yate and Filton Abbey Wood will be replaced by buses
- trains will continue to run between Yate and Gloucester, and Filton Abbey Wood and Bristol Temple Meads
- CrossCountry trains will be diverted; and call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway
Cardiff Central electrification work: 26 - 28 August
- There will be no trains between Newport and Cardiff; with replacement buses running instead
- Services will continue to run between Swansea and Cardiff; with eastbound trains starting from Newport
- London services will be diverted, and call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway for further upgrade work
- The work in Cardiff is part of Network Rail’s programme to lower the track in the area ahead of installing overhead wires by late 2018.
Severn Tunnel and Cardiff preparatory works: weekends of 23 September - 29 October
23 - 24 September, 30 September - 1 October
7 - 8, 14 - 15, 21 - 22 and 28 - 29 October
Over these weekends, Network Rail will be carrying out electrification work in the Cardiff area; as well as track maintenance in the Severn Tunnel.
- High speed services will start and end at Newport; and run non-stop between Swindon
- A shuttle service will run between Swansea and Cardiff
- Services to and from Portsmouth Harbour and Taunton will start and end at Bristol Parkway
- Buses will run between Cardiff, Newport and Bristol Parkway
Bristol Parkway platform works: weekends of 4 - 19 November
4 - 5, 11 - 12, and 18 - 19 November
Over these weekends Network Rail will be carrying out work on the new platform at Bristol Parkway.
- High speed services will call at Patchway, instead of Bristol Parkway
- Replacement buses will run between Bristol Parkway and Patchway
- Local services between Yate and Filton Abbey Wood will be replaced by buses
- Trains will continue to run between Yate and Gloucester, and Filton Abbey Wood and Bristol Temple Meads
- CrossCountry trains will be diverted; and will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway
To allow for electrification and Crossrail works Paddington Station will be closed over Christmas.
There will be a six-day closure, starting on Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24 through to Thursday 29 December.
Trains are likely to be very busy on Friday 23 December, and it is recommended that customers book ahead and travel early if they can.
Trains will start and finish at Ealing Broadway throughout the closure with customers completing their journey by London Underground. There are no lifts at the station and it is recommended that customers who find using Ealing Broadway difficult, to change trains at Reading and travel to and from London Waterloo. South West Trains have agreed to accept GWR tickets to support this.
Full details are available here including details on travelling with bikes, sleeper services and Pullman dining service.
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 networkrail.co.uk/delaysexplained.”
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.
Bellotts Road will be closed until 30 June.
Network Rail have said: "To facilitate works demolish and reconstruct the adjacent SAD Intersects bridge as part of the Great Western Electrification programme. Bellotts Road bridge needs to be closed to provide a safety zone during lifting operations and to position the crane to undertake lifting works."
This summer Network Rail is launching a massive amount of work to install a new overhead electric line in Bath.
The modernisation will mean improved reliability; longer, faster trains; and more seats. It will also improve carbon emissions (as the trains switch from diesel to electric) and is bound to stimulate the local economy.
Fabulous news! … Well there is a slight downside; the works will create quite some disruption in Bath, of which you can read more here.