Friday 29 Oct 2010


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western



Rail passengers at Plymouth station will be serenaded by one of ABBA’s top pop hits this morning (29 Octber) as Network Rail and First Great Western promote temporary changes to London services from Devon and Cornwall this Christmas.


Local tribute band ABBA’s Angels will perform ‘Waterloo’, as rail services into London from the region will terminate at London Waterloo station rather than Paddington between 27 – 30 December 2010 and on 1 January 2011, while improvement work is carried out in the Reading area


Network Rail and First Great Western are using the event to urge passengers to plan ahead and arrange their festive travel now as tickets for Christmas travel are already on sale.

Chris Rayner, Western route director, Network Rail, said: “The improvement works at Reading this Christmas are the first step in Network Rail’s project to improve the Great Western mainline, cutting delays and building capacity for services to London from Devon and Cornwall.”

“We’re working at Christmas because the railway is quieter at this time of year and we’ll be able to concentrate a lot of work into a short space of time than spread out disruption over a prolonged period. Most importantly, we have also created room on the railway for trains to be diverted to Waterloo instead so that passengers can continue to stay on the trains without breaking their travel with replacement buses, significantly minimising disruptions.”

First Great Western Projects and Planning Director, Matthew Golton said: "Although Network Rail’s work will have an impact on our services this Christmas, we’ve been working together to make sure the railway remains open for business.

“The work is vital to making improvements to the railway. We have planned our services for the festive period very carefully – including adding extra services and re-routing others – to make sure we can get our customers to where they need to go. I’d urge people to plan carefully before making their journeys.”

The ABBA tribute band will be performing ‘Waterloo’ at 0700, 0730 and 0800 on Friday, 29 October at Plymouth station.

Notes to editors

- Network Rail will complete two important jobs over the Christmas period. It will install a new signalling system for the entire Reading area and place a new 750 tonne rail bridge over a bridge in the town. These are vital first steps in plans to increase capacity and cut delays for passengers travelling from Devon and Cornwall to London.

- Passengers travelling from and to Devon and Cornwall will terminate and begin their journey from London Waterloo on 27 – 30 December and 1 January 2011. Trains will not stop at Reading, and Reading-bound passengers should change at Basingstoke for a rail replacement service.

Services towards Bristol, South Wales, Worcester and local services will not be affected.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
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03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
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Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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