Rail passengers reminded of tunnel closure

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Severn Tunnel closed for SIX weeks from Monday (12th September). Services to/from Bristol Parkway affected

Rail passengers are being reminded to plan their journeys before travelling, ahead of a six-week closure of the Severn Tunnel to prepare the Great Western Main Line for a brand new fleet of electric trains.

On 12th September the 130 year-old tunnel will close to trains for six weeks as Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ works day and night to install over eight miles of electrical equipment which will power a new fleet of electric trains in the future – delivering more seats, more frequent services, and faster and greener journeys.

From Monday 12th September to Friday 21st October, Great Western Railway high-speed train services will be diverted between Swindon and Newport, increasing journey times by around 30 minutes. These services will not call at Bristol Parkway.

One service an hour will operate between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway.

Replacement buses will run between Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway, and between Bristol Parkway and Newport. Journeys involving replacement buses will take approximately 45 minutes longer than normal.

Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour and Taunton services will start and end at Bristol Parkway.

There will be further service alterations at weekends.

Full details can be found at GWR.com/SevernTunnel2016www.networkrail.co.uk/Severntunnel2016, or by calling the GWR helpline on 0345 7000 125.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Electrification has many long-term benefits including faster, more frequent trains and a boost to economic growth in towns and cities across the whole of the Western route and beyond.”

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we deliver the essential upgrades needed to prepare these tunnels for electrification and the benefits this will bring.”

Locally, the two Patchway railway tunnels will also be closed over the same six-week period.

A team of 500 workers assigned to the tunnel project will be working out of a temporary compound at Filton Airfield.

As previously reported in the Patchway Journal, Network Rail is also currently carrying out potentially noisy piling works in the Little Stoke and Patchway areas. This work, associated with the installation of overhead wires, is taking place on Saturday nights and is expected to continue until October.

This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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