Friday, 10 June 2016

Find out about railway electrification work in Severn and Patchway tunnels

 South Gloucestershire residents are invited to an event to find out more about work that will soon be taking place to prepare the 130-year-old Severn and Patchway tunnels for the arrival of a new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains.

The event will take place at 7pm on Thursday 16 June at Patchway Community College on Hempton Lane and will begin with a presentation by the Network Rail project team, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

This event sounds like it will be of interest to rail enthusiasts as well as travellers. The upgrades required to prepare both tunnels for electrification are extensive and will involve installing conductor beams to power the new fleet of electric trains to run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot (!) needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

The scale of this work means that a temporary closure of both tunnels is unavoidable over six weeks, from 12 September to 21 October 2016.

Throughout the work train services to and from of Wales will still be running, but some journeys will take longer and on some routes replacement bus services will be in operation.

The work on the Severn and Patchway tunnels will affect the majority of passengers who travel in and out of South Wales including those who travel to and from London, Portsmouth Harbour and south west England.

Trains running between Bristol and Cardiff will run via Gloucester and passengers travelling to and from London Paddington will also be diverted via Gloucester with extended journey times and a reduced frequency of trains. Rail replacement buses will be in operation for other services.

Ahead of the closure, passengers are advised to check before they travel through Great Western Railway or National Rail Enquiries.

Updates will also be available on Twitter via @networkrailwest and @gwrhelp.

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