Electrification to Bristol Parkway a step closer as Network Rail carry out vital upgrade: Electrification at Bristol Parkway

Monday 15 Oct 2018

Electrification to Bristol Parkway a step closer as Network Rail carry out vital upgrade

Region & Route:
Wales and Western

Passengers in Bristol are to benefit from more seats, quicker journey times and more frequent trains from next year, as Network Rail makes progress on the delivery of electrification to Bristol Parkway.

The railway line between Swindon and Bristol Parkway was closed earlier this month to allow engineers to work on the vital upgrade, including the installation of the overhead line equipment (OLE) used to hold the wires for electrification, which will allow the new fleet of GWR trains to start running under electric power from 2019.

During the closure, over 65km of cable was installed, as well as over 400 tons of steelwork. Two of the gantries erected were over 40m wide, some of the largest on the Western route.

Dan Tipper, project director for Network Rail said:

“This work has been critical to enabling us to move a step closer to electrifying the railway to Bristol Parkway, which will allow GWR to run their new bi-mode trains under electric power from 2019.

“I would like to thank residents and passengers for their patience and understanding during these works – a key part of our Railway Upgrade Plan”.

To find out more about the upgrade work in the Bristol area please visit






Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office -Western route
07730 354394

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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