Passengers to see transformation of rail services as modernisation of the South Wales mainline continues: Cardiff Central - modernisation

Friday 28 Jun 2019

Passengers to see transformation of rail services as modernisation of the South Wales mainline continues

Region & Route:
Wales and Western

In December passengers using the South Wales mainline will see a transformation of their rail services as GWR’s biggest timetable change since 1976 comes into effect. 

Passengers in Wales and Borders will also benefit from enhanced Sunday services by Transport for Wales (TfW) along with additional rolling stock to boost capacity across the network. 

To support this change we are working closely with GWR and TfW to prepare for the new timetable which will introduce new services and faster journey times across the Great Western main line including services into South Wales.  

The December 2019 timetable will see a typical journey time saving of 14 minutes between Cardiff and London Paddington, a huge boost for passengers and businesses. TfW will also run more frequent trains on Sundays, similar to their current weekday service.

We have amended our schedule of delivering electrification to Cardiff; electrification to Newport will be delivered ahead of the December timetable as planned but the 10 mile stretch to Cardiff, which will be built by November, will now be tested and switched on over the Christmas and New Year break. 

Delivery of electrification to Cardiff has taken longer than planned and testing of the new electric section of railway around Cardiff has been moved to Christmas, when the railway is already closed. The new schedule for testing and switching on electrification to Cardiff has no impact on the new December timetable changes as GWR’s bi-mode trains can run on diesel between Newport and Cardiff until January when electric services will start to Cardiff. 

Alison Thompson, chief operating officer for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We are really focussed on the smooth introduction of the new timetable in December. The new timetable will bring passengers more frequent, new services and faster journeys. This is the service they want and will also support businesses in Wales. The new timetable provides more capacity on busy routes like Cardiff to Taunton via Bristol.

“Electrification reaching Cardiff is a significant milestone as we continue to deliver the biggest upgrade to the Great Western mainline since it was built by Brunel more than 175 years ago. We really want to thank passengers, businesses and our lineside neighbours for bearing with us through this huge modernisation programme.”

Notes to Editors

Contact us for details of filming opportunities at Severn Tunnel (Sudbrook) pumping station.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Sara Crombie
sara.crombie@networkrail.co.uk

About Network Rail

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.

Every day, there are more than 4.8 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

Follow us on Twitter: @networkrail
Visit our online newsroom: www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk