We're modernising the Great Western route to bring passengers faster, more frequent, more reliable services.
The project includes upgrading our infrastructure so that the route can be electrified to bring faster, more reliable and greener journeys.
What we're doing
To enable the route to be electrified, we're installing supporting masts and overhead lines, and preparing the foundations for piling. We'll also be modifying some of the bridges and other structures on the route to create the extra height needed for the overhead lines. Before starting this work we may need to clear overgrown vegetation alongside the line. Find out more about why and how we manage vegetation.
Work on bridges and other structures
The list below shows bridges and other structures that we need to modify for electrification, along with the work we're carrying out currently and any temporary road closures and diversions. Work due to start in the future is subject to approval by West Berkshire Council.
Railway Road area
To allow for the electric trains to run we have started work to construct a new transformer station on land between the railway and the old Stirling Cables factory. The transformer will be similar to most National Grid transformers and will be used to electrify the overhead wires.
A sewer pipe was damaged in December while piling in the area near Winchcombe Road. A over-pumping system has been set up while we investigate to find a solution to make the necessary repairs. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this pumping arrangement.
A site compound has been set up to allow us to continue working in the area to electrify the line between Reading and Newbury. The site will be safe and secure and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to our neighbours.
A site compound is being set up to allow us to continue working in the area to electrify the line between Reading and Newbury. The site will be safe and secure and every effort will be made to minimise disruption to our neighbours.
Reading West Station
Work will be starting in January 2018 to replace the existing footbridge as well as commencing work to modify the existing buildings, canopies and platforms. For more information view residents' letter
Bedwyn Station sidings
In order to enable the introduction of the new fleet of InterCity Express Trains, we need to extend the existing siding at Bedwyn and relocate the existing pedestrian foot crossing. The pedestrian foot crossing will be moved 10 metres west to a new permanent location.
Preparation works will commence on Saturday 25 August. Please refer to the residents letter that was circulated in July for further details including work dates and timings.
Once these essential works have been completed , this will enable Great Western Railway (GWR) to run new, quieter and more environmentally friendly trains with more seats between Bedwyn and London Paddington.
Newbury is going electric
During 2018 we will be installing overhead electric power lines along the 40 miles of railway between Reading and Newbury. To do this we need to install foundations and erect steel masts every 40 to 70 metres along the railway.
This is a significant project for us, which is why we need to close the railway to maximise the efficiency of the works undertaken and to provide a safe working environment. This requires closing the level crossings at Thatcham and Midgham overnight during the closures listed below.
Railway closure dates
- 00:45 Monday 4 June to 04:55 Friday 8 June
- 00:45 Monday 9 July to 04:55 Friday 13 July
- 00:45 Monday 16 July to Monday 6 August ( time to be confirmed )
- 00:45 Tuesday 28 August to Friday 31 August ( time to be confirmed )
- 00:45 Monday 8 October to 04:55 Friday 12 October
Our 24-hour national helpline: 03457 11 41 41
For example, we often have to carry out some of the work at night when trains aren’t running. This is because we’re contractually obliged to work at times that have the least impact on passenger services, and because we must ensure the safety of our workforce.
If roads or footpaths need to be closed temporarily because of bridge work, we agree diversionary routes with the local council. And we are committed to completing the work quickly, so the road can be reopened as soon as possible.