Friday 2 Feb 2018
Passengers reminded to check before travelling ahead of railway upgrade work
Passengers are being urged to check before they travel ahead of essential modernisation work between Cardiff and Newport this February.
The work forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan for Wales, to enable Great Western Railway’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains to run between London and Cardiff on electricity, improving journeys for passengers.
The upgrade work will be delivered between 12-25 February. While the majority of services will continue to operate as normal during the work, there will be a small reduction in the number of trains between Cardiff and Newport and customers are advised to check before they travel.
Rail replacement buses will operate for all services between Cardiff Central and Newport stations on 17, 18 and 25 February.
Between 12 and 25 February, engineers will be preparing the stretch of railway between the two cities for the equipment needed to power GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains, which will run on electricity from London to Cardiff. The work being delivered will include piling and post installation.
Cardiff residents are also reminded that Splott Road Bridge will be closed from 4 – 27 February.
The original bridge, which connects Splott to Adamsdown, is too low to accommodate the overhead line equipment needed for trains running on electricity and, at 117 years old, the bridge has reached the end of its lifespan. It is being replaced with a new and improved structure, raised to give clearance for trains running on electricity, and strengthened to withstand modern city centre traffic.
Modernising the railway between London and Cardiff will provide more seats and better on-board facilities for passengers travelling between the two capital cities and beyond, with the new trains running between Cardiff and Swansea on diesel.
Steve Keighley, programme manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “The new Intercity Express Trains, which run on both electric and diesel, will provide extra seats and better on-board facilities for thousands of passengers. We are working closely with our partners at Arriva Trains Wales and Great Western Railway to make sure people can still get where they need to be with a bus replacement service in operation during this essential upgrade work.
“We would like to thank passengers and residents for their patience during this improvement work and urge people to check before travelling.”
Bethan Jelfs, customer services director for Arriva Trains Wales said: “Investing in our infrastructure here in south Wales is vital to the long term future of our railway.
“We have been working closely with our partners in Network Rail to ensure as few passenger journeys as possible were affected by this.
“The work at Splott Road Bridge will mean some service changes between Cardiff and Newport and we would urge all our customers to check their journeys ahead of travelling.”
GWR development manager Wales, Mark Young man said: “New Intercity Express Trains have been operating between South Wales and London Paddington, since last October, providing as much as 24% more seats than the trains they have replaced.
“The electrification of the line between Cardiff and London will allow us to deliver the full benefit of these new trains, with more frequent, and quicker, journeys.”
More detail on rail services and replacement buses, as well as up to date journey information, can be found via www.nationalrail.co.uk or by calling Travel Line Cymru on 0800 464 0000.
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.