Wednesday 4 Aug 2004


Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western
| Southern
Rail customers using the Great Western mainline between London Paddington and the Thames and Kennet Valleys are to benefit from an £8 million engineering project designed to improve the punctuality and reliability of train services. Work to install 14 sets of new, crucial, points gets underway on Saturday 21 August when two of the four tracks on the line will close.  The remaining two lines will close on Saturday 28 August when 100 engineers will work around-the-clock to complete the project.  All four lines will re-open to train services on Tuesday 31 August. John Curley, Network Rail Route Director, said: “This vital engineering work is essential to improve the reliability of the infrastructure to deliver better, more punctual, train journeys for passengers. We do understand that the changes to services might cause inconvenience, but we hope that passengers understand the importance of the work for the long-term future of the railway.”             Linda Hill, Head of Customer Services at First Great Western and First Great Western Link continued: “This is a crucial project and we have drawn up the best possible timetable for our customers while allowing Network Rail to complete the work. Infrastructure improvements like this are vital to cement First Great Western’s position as the UK’s best performing long-distance operator and to improve the performance of the newly-formed First Great Western Link.” - more - Slough – 2 Heathrow Express will operate a normal service from London Paddington during the engineering work. Reading station will also remain open throughout the bank holiday weekend. First Great Western services from Monday 23 to Friday 27 August: ·        There will generally be one service an hour between London Paddington and South Wales, the West of England and Bristol. ·        One peak service will operate from Gloucestershire to London Paddington in the morning, returning in the evening peak. During the day, services from Gloucester will terminate/start at Swindon, connecting with services to London Paddington. ·        Peak services on the North Cotwolds line will operate broadly as normal, with some retimings. First Great Western services from Saturday 28 to Monday 30 August: ·        There will be no direct train service between Reading and London Paddington. ·        The majority of customers will need to change at Reading onto South West Trains services between Reading and London Waterloo, which are being doubled in frequency ·        Some First Great Western services will operate direct to and from London Waterloo, the majority will start/terminate at Reading. Customers can also contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50 or consult before travelling.

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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.

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