Upgrading the railway in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire

The railway line between Swindon and Bristol Parkway has reopened as planned on Saturday 16 September after 28 days of upgrade work over 28 miles of railway

From 19 August to 15 September, almost 5,000 members of Network Rail’s orange army put in more than 175,000 working hours as part of our programme to electrify the route from London Paddington to Cardiff.


The work included:

  • Piling to install more than 500 foundations to support the overhead electrification equipment.
  • Installing 2,500 pieces of steel, including trackside masts, booms and cantilevers.
  • Installing 106 km of overhead wires.
  • Installing 8km of conductor rail and 1,100 fixings in Chipping Sodbury tunnel.
  • Completing the first stage of our flood resilience scheme at Chipping Sodbury sidings.
  • Extending the current three platforms at Bristol Parkway station and starting work on a fourth.
  • Laying 1.4km of new track at Bristol Parkway and upgrading signalling equipment.

The work brings GWR's new fleet of Intercity Express Trains another step closer for passengers.

We would like to thank passengers and those living near to the railway for their patience as we have completed this important work. We’ve made great strides towards electrifying this section of the railway, and we will continue to work safely and tirelessly to bring the benefits of electrification to passengers in 2019.

Installation of electrification equipment

We still have a number of foundations to install along the line from Swindon to Patchway, along with the associated overhead line equipment including masts and wires. Please see the table below, which will be regularly updated, for dates and times of work.

Bristol Parkway station

The fourth platform is due to open by the end of this year. Work on this new platform and track layout will continue over three planned weekend closures in November (4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th).

No trains will call at the station on these weekends. Passengers will be affected across all three weekends, with diversions in place and buses running instead of trains for some journeys. Please plan ahead before you travel at www.gwr.com/bristolparkway2017 or www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk

Travelling to South Wales?

The Severn Tunnel will be closed for maintenance for six weekends from 23 September through to 29 October 2017. We will also be carrying out work at Cardiff Intersection bridge. Trains from Bristol Parkway into South Wales will be replaced by buses for all or part of some journeys. Please plan ahead before you travel.

Installation of foundations for overhead lines

LocationDateTimeLocal Authority
Acton TurvilleSaturday 14 October – Sunday 15 October 201722:00 - 08:00South Gloucestershire
Action Turville village
In the rural area between the west of the village and Chipping Sodbury TunnelSaturday 14 - Sunday 15 October22:00 - 07:00
Through Acton Turville villageSaturday 21 - Sunday 22 October22:00 - 07:00
Through Acton Turville villageSaturday 28 - Sunday 29 October22:00 - 07:00
In the rural area between the west of the village and Chipping Sodbury TunnelMonday 23 - Friday 27 October22:00 - 07:00
Through Acton Turville villageMonday 30 October - Friday 3 November22:00 - 07:00