The railway between the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff has reopened and train services between Bristol, Newport and Gloucester have resumed as normal, following the successful completion of a major phase of South Wales Mainline modernisation work.

Over the Easter bank holiday, a 700-strong workforce worked around the clock to deliver essential upgrade work to prepare the railway for trains to run on electricity. Supported by a large fleet of engineering trains, road-rail vehicles and specialist machinery, teams installed 25 foundations, 40 masts and over 32km of wire along the mainline from the Severn Tunnel to the west of Cardiff Central station.

Bill Kelly, route managing director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for bearing with us this Easter as our teams worked around the clock to deliver crucial upgrades to the network.

“Once completed later this year, the major modernisation of the South Wales Mainline will allow Intercity Express Trains to run between London and Cardiff on electricity, improving journeys for passengers and creating a greener, quieter environment for lineside neighbours.”

Rick Davey, chief operating officer for Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “We’d like to thank our customers for their patience whilst this work has been taking place. We recognise the impact railway upgrade work does have on people’s daily lives and we work hard with our partners in Network Rail to keep all disruption to a minimum. This work is a significant investment for the long-term future success of our railway.”

Passengers are reminded that buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport stations this weekend, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April, as teams continue their work to modernise the mainline. People are encouraged to check their journey at nationalrail.co.uk