Work to electrify the South Wales Mainline – an important rail route linking major towns and cities – is well underway.
We are electrifying the line between London and Cardiff – a major part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. This will result in the introduction of bi-mode trains – trains that can run on electric and diesel – providing extra seats and faster services for thousands of passengers and a quieter and greener environment for lineside neighbours. The South Wales Mainline runs from the Severn Tunnel in Monmouthshire, through Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend, Port Talbot, Neath and Swansea.
Upcoming Piling Work
Saturday 29 September - Friday 17 November
- Between Rogiet and Llandevenny (Monmouthshire County Council)
- Between Liswerry and Maindee (Newport City Council)
- Between Newport Station and Duffryn (Newport City Council)
- Between Rumney and Cardiff Central Station (Cardiff City Council)
Severn Tunnel upgrade
We’ve carried out significant work on the Severn Tunnel to prepare it for when the South Wales Mainline is electrified.
Our work in Cardiff continues to progress. A number of bridges in Cardiff are currently being reconstructed as they are too low to accommodate the overhead line equipment which will power the new trains. Work in Cardiff began in 2015 and will continue until late 2018.
Splott Road Bridge
We have been working to reconstruct Splott Road bridge as part of our work to electrify the Mainline, throughout 2017 and early 2018. To electrify the railway we needed to ensure that we had sufficient clearance levels for overhead line equipment (OLE). Splott Road bridge was too low to accommodate the new OLE. At 119 years old, it was also nearing the end of its working life, so we have had to demolish and rebuild it. The demolition and rebuilding of Splott Road bridge was undertaken in two parts, in an unusual feat of engineering. One half of the bridge was demolished and rebuilt, and the other half a year later. We wanted to keep the road open as long as possible, so apart from one short full closure in 2017, and one in early 2018, the road has been open to traffic while works have been taking place. Over three weeks in February 2018, we closed the road to traffic for the essential second half of Splott Road bridge works. We had to demolish the western side of the bridge this year, and build a new half to match the eastern side that we constructed last year. The road was reopened to traffic and pedestrians early in the morning on 27 February as planned. The western half of the bridge was successfully reconstructed during this period, which included a 50 hour closure of the railway over a weekend. During this time, the four span bridge was removed, and replaced with new beams to create a new raised three span bridge to cater for the running of Intercity Express Trains. We will now complete the bridge works including installing parapets, utilities works and preparing the road for full re-opening later this year.