Thursday 7 Sep 2017
Rail industry warns of train service alterations if travelling to boxing in Cardiff
Railway upgrade work between London and Cardiff will affect journeys for fans travelling to the Anthony Joshua and Kubrat Pulev fight in the Principality Stadium on 28 October.
Passengers are advised to plan their journey in advance at www.nationalrail.co.uk or by calling Traveline Cymru on 0800 464 0000.
Bill Kelly, chief operating officer for Network Rail Wales, said: “Network Rail, Great Western Railway and Arriva Trains Wales advise travelling fans to plan their journeys well in advance to avoid disappointment as railway engineering work will limit their journey options.
“This upgrade work was planned a year in advance and forms part of the modernisation of the railway between London and Cardiff. This will provide more seats for passengers and increase our capacity for hosting major events in the future.”
Network Rail’s work has been planned since 2016 and advertised in advance. This includes work in the following locations:
- Between Cardiff and Newport
- Severn Tunnel
- Bristol Parkway
- Between Paddington and Reading
Mark Hopwood, GWR managing director said: “The work over that weekend is a vital part of Network Rail’s upgrade plans, helping GWR to take full advantage of our new fleet and the greatest step-change in experience for our passengers in a generation.
“Those travelling from London and Bristol to the boxing in Cardiff are strongly advised to plan their journey in advance.”
Gareth Thomas, director for Arriva Trains Wales, said: "Cardiff has an excellent record for delivering major events, and important railway upgrade work, such as that being undertaken during October by our partners in Network Rail, will help improve the experience and capacity for visitors for future events.
“Due to rail services being limited, we encourage visiting fans to ensure that they plan in advance for the event and consider all available modes when planning their travel.”
Railway upgrade work allows Network Rail to continue to provide a safe and reliable railway and allows for GWR to deliver new Intercity Express Trains, providing over a fifth more seats per train, and reducing journey times.
In order to plan this work, Network Rail first agrees a schedule with train operators to give passengers the most notice possible and achieve the best value for the taxpayer. Engineers and specialist equipment are booked in advance. Cancelling work and rescheduling it at another time would increase costs for the taxpayer.
There will be fewer trains travelling to Cardiff on Saturday 28 October and there will be no trains back to London or Bristol after the fight is scheduled to finish. On Sunday 29 October services will resume, with rail replacement buses running between Cardiff Central and Newport.
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 36,000 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.