Passengers advised to Check Before You Travel as upgrade work takes place between Swindon and Bristol: Bristol Parkway

Wednesday 16 Aug 2017

Passengers advised to Check Before You Travel as upgrade work takes place between Swindon and Bristol


Passengers travelling between South Wales, Bristol Parkway and London Paddington are reminded to Check Before You Travel from this weekend as Network Rail prepares to undertake a series of major upgrades and electrification work on the line between Swindon and Bristol Parkway.

Network Rail will undertake electrification work in Chipping Sodbury and Alderton tunnels as well as beginning the construction of a new platform at Bristol Parkway to enable Great Western Railway (GWR)’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains to operate. These brand new trains will deliver over a fifth more seats per train, more frequent services and reduced journey times for passengers.

To take place from Saturday 19 August to Friday 15 September, the work is a key part of the modernisation of the Great Western mainline, allowing the new trains to run.

The upgrade includes the installation of the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) used to hold the wires for electrification, platform upgrades at Bristol Parkway station and the introduction of a flood resilience scheme at Chipping Sodbury to make the railway more reliable.

Network Rail’s major programmes director David Buisson said:

“The upgrade between Swindon and Bristol Parkway is vital as we continue to deliver electrification and a more reliable railway for our passengers.

“I’d like to thank residents living near to the railway and passengers for their continued support throughout the modernisation work which forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.”

GWR operations director Rob Mullen said:

“The work in the Bristol Parkway area is a crucial part of Network Rail’s Great Western mainline upgrade which, with the roll-out our new fleet of Intercity Express Trains, will provide the greatest step-change in experience for our passengers in a generation.

“It is an exciting time with new trains due to enter service in a matter of months. This work is key to delivering the full benefits these new trains will bring.”

Bristol Parkway will remain open throughout, but there will be no trains calling at the station from 2-15 September. A full list of service amendments is available here:

Passengers can check their journeys before travelling at and

For more information on GWR’s new trains please click here.


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
01793 389749

About Network Rail

Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 36,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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