Severn Tunnel track renewal

We’re returning to the Severn Tunnel this summer to carry out some essential track maintenance.

From Wednesday 3 to Friday 19 July 2024, we’re replacing track over 4 miles of track in the Severn Tunnel to keep train services safe and reliable along this busy route.

What work is taking place?

We’ll be replacing 7km of track along the Severn Tunnel. 

Project in numbers

  • A 7,040 metre stretch of track through the Severn Tunnel is being replaced 
  • 66×216 metre long rails are being installed, equivalent to a 14 km span in total 
  • Installing 10,800 sleepers 
  • Installing over 22,000 tonnes of ballast (track stone) 
  • Removing 21,000 tonnes of spoil 

When is the work taking place?

The Severn Tunnel will be closed for 16 full days from Wednesday 3 July until the early hours of Friday 19 July, when train services are due to resume.  

Why is the work needed?  

Saltwater makes for a corrosive environment inside the tunnel and track that would normally last 25 years needs to be replaced every 10 years.  

How will this work affect me?

From Wednesday 3 to Thursday 18 July, trains between South Wales and London will be diverted via Gloucester, adding to journey times. There will be a limited rail replacement service running so please make sure check before you travel using the links below: 

Check before you travel

Access & Compounds 

To support our work inside the Severn Tunnel, we will be using our access points at Garthalan Drive, Calidcott in Wales and Green Lane, Severn Beach in England.  

Level crossing users 

Changes to the timetable from May, and then the closure of the Severn Tunnel for this essential maintenance work (3-18 July), means there will be a significant increase in rail passenger and freight traffic through level crossings along the diversionary route through Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire.  

We ask all level crossing users to take extra care, particularly during this period.    

Get in touch

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our 24-hour national helpline 03457 11 41 41 or contact us.

Find out more @NetworkRailWest and @NetworkRailWAL