Thursday 15 Jun 2017
Passengers advised to plan ahead as railway upgraded near Chippenham
- Upgrade will allow line between Chippenham and Swindon to be ready for new Intercity Express Trains which arrive later this year
- Upgraded drainage will help make services more reliable
- To allow the work to be completed the line will be closed for nine days
- Buses will replace trains between Chippenham and Swindon stations
Network Rail and GWR are reminding passengers that the railway near Chippenham will be closed for nine days from Friday 8 July as part of a £3.5m upgrade.
The project at Dauntsey forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan where track will be lowered under two listed bridges which will pave the way for new Intercity Express Trains (IET) to run on the line from later this year.
The new trains wil have more seats, greater comfort, be more reliable as well as having improved wifi and at-seat power sockets.
In addition to the track lowering, engineers will be installing a drainage culvert which will help reduce the chance of the line flooding in the future.
In order to achieve this, the line at Dauntsey will be closed for nine days between Friday 8 July and Sunday, 16 July. Throughout the closure of the line there will be alterations to services to and from Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol Temple Meads.
Samantha Patterson, who works on the electrification project for Network Rail said: “This investment at Dauntsey is key to modernising the railway through the area and providing passengers with a better, more reliable railway.
“There is never a good time to close the railway for any length of time but we have looked at all options and worked with GWR to complete this work at a time that will cause least disruption to passengers.
“Our Railway Upgrade Plan is delivering significant investment into the railway network which will provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers.”
A GWR spokesperson said: "We've worked closely with Network Rail to minimise the impact to our customers, diverting some trains away from the area and providing a comprehensive replacement bus service as an alternative where necessary.
“Later this year our brand new fleet of trains will begin operating on this route, and this is another key milestone towards providing more seats and greater reliability on train services through Swindon and Chippenham."
Passengers are advised to check before they travel at www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest information.
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 38,000 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.