Network Rail will carry out vital maintenance and upgrades across Wales and the west this Easter to ensure it can continue to move critical freight and passengers, who are reminded to make essential journeys only.

In line with government advice, people should stay at home if possible, in order to help reduce the spread of the virus.

Those who do need to travel are reminded to check in advance whether their journey might be impacted.

The amended schedule over Easter will be continually evaluated with the following work still taking place:

  • Severn Tunnel drainage and electrification energisation work which will provide a more reliable service for passengers travelling into and out of south Wales.
  • The renewal of the switches and crossings which allows trains to go from one track to another at Ableton Lane, which is between Bristol and the Severn tunnel. This will provide more reliable journeys for passengers.
  • Structural repair work within Paddington station which is critical as the road which sits on top of it, London Street, is the main access for emergency vehicles to St Mary's Hospital.

Other originally planned work has been postponed as it is either not possible to do within government guidelines on coronavirus or is not immediately critical to the running of the railway.

This includes bridge and track work on the Barnstaple branch line in Devon, Crossrail station works in west London, Dovey Junction Viaduct work on the Cambrian Coast line in Wales and a bridge replacement at Gypsy Patch Lane in Bristol.

Whilst the work on the Cambrian Coast Line and Gypsy Patch Lane in Bristol will not go ahead Network Rail will use the opportunity to carry out other maintenance work on those sections of the railway.

All Easter work is subject to change and passengers are reminded to check before they travel.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for Wales and Western, said: “Our focus is on running a safe and reliable railway that keeps people who can’t work from home, like NHS staff, and goods moving during these challenging times. We have prioritised the work that matters the most to achieve this.

“I thank those that are travelling for their patience and urge them to check before they travel.”