Network Rail is advising passengers in South Wales to plan their journeys in advance as work to electrify the South Wales Main Line continues this weekend.

Engineers will be working around the clock on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October to continue installing the wire running through the overhead line equipment (OLE) in the Cardiff area and carry out essential testing work between Newport and Severn Tunnel Junction stations.

Once complete, the major modernisation work will enable Intercity Express Trains to run between London and Cardiff on electricity, reducing journey times for passengers and creating a quieter environment for lineside neighbours.

On Saturday 19 October, buses will replace trains between Cardiff Central and Newport/Bristol Parkway/Ebbw Vale/Cwmbran and Chepstow and on Sunday 20 October, buses will replace trains between Bridgend and Newport/Bristol Parkway/Ebbw Vale/Cwmbran and Chepstow.

Further work is planned on weekends throughout the coming months so all passengers are advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk for further information before travelling.

Bill Kelly, route director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said:

“Electrification reaching Cardiff is a significant milestone as we continue to deliver the biggest upgrade to the Great Western mainline since it was built more than 175 years ago. We would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for bearing with us as we continue to deliver this major upgrade project.”

Colin Lea, customer experience director for Transport for Wales said:

“This vital investment work by our partners in Network Rail will lead to faster journey times between South Wales and Bristol and London by the end of the year.

“Whilst the work reaches its final phases, there will be some disruption affecting our customers connecting between South Wales and Bristol.

“We are working closely with Network Rail and GWR to keep this to a minimum, but those travelling on the affected dates should check before travelling and stay fully informed about any planned changes.”

 David Bailey, customer service manager south Wales for GWR said:

“In December we plan to implement the biggest timetable change on this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing; delivering more seats, and more frequent and quicker journeys.

“In order to help achieve this however Network Rail will be working to continuing the electrification of the line over the coming weekends, and we would like to thank passengers in advance for their patience.”