Passengers reminded to check before they travel ahead of three-week major resilience scheme on Newport-Gloucester line: Wide shot of rope workers and rock bolts SERP 2023

Wednesday 10 Jul 2024

Passengers reminded to check before they travel ahead of three-week major resilience scheme on Newport-Gloucester line

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

Passengers are being urged to check before they travel between South Wales and Gloucester later this month and in early August as Network Rail continues its work to help protect the Severn Estuary line from extreme weather.

The railway will be closed between Severn Tunnel Junction and Gloucester from Monday 22 July to Friday 9 August inclusive.

The work is the third phase of Network Rail’s multi-million-pound investment to improve the resilience of the Gloucester-Newport line, which provides a crucial link for passengers and freight.

The exposed location of the line alongside the Severn Estuary means it is prone to landslips, so Network Rail is undertaking a five-year programme to help protect the line for generations to come.

The scheme is taking place across three miles of railway, on slopes up to 50 metres in height.

In the two phases of the work so far, Network Rail has:

  • In 2022, installed temporary netting to protect the railway in the short-term
  • In 2023, started to convert that temporary netting into a permanent system

This year’s work will focus on a steep cutting between Purton and Awre in the Forest of Dean, where engineers will drill nearly 4,000 holes, each between four and five metres deep, before installing rock bolts and rockfall netting to fully stabilise more than 17,500 square metres of the cliffs above the railway.

This will upgrade the current temporary netting system put in place in phase one of the work in 2022 to catch falling rock and earth, to a permanent netting system, which holds the rock in place.

While the railway is closed, Network Rail engineers will also be carrying out essential drainage work in Newnham Tunnel, renewing almost one mile of track and upgrading several level crossings.

Nick Millington, Network Rail Wales and Borders route director, said: “The line between Newport and Gloucester is particularly vulnerable to landslips due to its exposed location along the Severn Estuary.  

“We are seeing more frequent extreme weather events because of climate change, which is why we are prioritising resilience projects like this, to protect vital passenger and freight links on the Wales and Borders route.  

“We are now into the third phase of this project, and the investment we are making will mean fewer closures and speed restrictions in the future, providing passengers and freight customers with a more reliable service.  

“We appreciate there is never a good time to close the railway, so I would like to thank everyone for their patience while we safely carry out this essential work.” 

While the railway is closed, all Transport for Wales services between Cardiff Central/Maesteg and Cheltenham Spa will start/terminate at Severn Tunnel Junction.

A rail replacement bus service will be provided to serve all stops between Severn Tunnel Junction and Gloucester (Caldicot, Chepstow, Lydney and Gloucester).

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at

Notes to Editors

The railway will be closed between Severn Tunnel Junction and Gloucester from Monday 22 July to Friday 26 July inclusive, and again from Monday 29 July to Friday 9 August inclusive. The break over the weekend of 27-28 July is to allow follow-up work in the Severn Tunnel, which is currently closed for a major track renewal.

For further information on the project, please visit: Severn Estuary Resilience Programme - Network Rail

For further passenger information from CrossCountry, please visit: 

For further passenger information from Transport for Wales, please visit: Train disruption | Rail works | Transport for Wales (

Contact information

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Steve Cotton
Media Relations Manager

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