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.
This page explains the work we'll be doing in Wiltshire and Swindon and when it's due to take place.
What we're doing
To enable the route to be electrified. we're installing supporting masts and overhead lines, and preparing the foundations for these ('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.
Lady St Margaret footbridge in Sandgate, Swindon, reopened in July 2018 following the completion of work to raise the parapets, or sides, of the bridge as part of our project to electrify the railway between London and Cardiff.
Swindon weekend upgrade work
As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we are electrifying the railway from London Paddington, via Bristol, to Cardiff as well as down to Newbury. This enables GWR to introduce brand new Intercity Express Trains offering 24% more seats, better legroom, improved air conditioning and upgraded WiFi.
We have already electrified the railway to Didcot Parkway and we are now working on the section between there and the outskirts of Royal Wootton Bassett, through Swindon. On weekends, between March and May 2018, the railway line in this area will be closed while we install electrification equipment.
Additionally, to take advantage of these blockades of the railway, we will be undertaking supplementary work. We will carry out vital station enhancement works; and we will be installing new track between Gloucester and Swindon.
When will the upgrade work take place?
Work will take place during the day and night over four weekends starting in March 2018 until May 2018. The dates and times are detailed below:
- 01:00 Saturday 26 May to 05:00 Tuesday 29 May
During the weekend upgrade works trains will not be able to run between Didcot and Swindon. Rail services will be replaced by bus services running on an amended timetable. Please visit National Rail Enquiries for more information.
We know that our work to improve the railway may cause some disruption and noise for local communities. We do our very best to limit this and appreciate your patience and understanding.
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.
Last updated 27 July 2018. This page will be updated regularly.