Severn Tunnel image

Planned engineering work between Bristol and South Wales from this weekend

Trains that run through the Severn Tunnel between Bristol and South Wales will be affected as part of an ongoing programme of rail improvement work this July.

Network Rail will carry out essential track maintenance as well as testing the electrical power supply in the tunnel in July.

The work will see more than two miles of track, sleepers and ballast (the stones on the railway) replaced to ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of the railway.

The new track will also enable the removal of a temporary 50mph speed restriction through the tunnel, improving passenger’s journeys and reducing the risk of infrastructure faults.

The track work will affect Great Western Railway services from Friday 1 to Sunday 10 July.

David Bailey, GWR’s customer service manager for South Wales, said:

“The work inside the Severn Tunnel will support our train service in Wales, especially those trains running under electric power serving Cardiff Central and Newport.

“We will divert long-distance trains via an alternative route and provide road transport between Newport and Bristol Parkway to ensure customers can complete their journeys.”

  • Trains between London and South Wales will use an alternative route between Swindon and Newport – stopping at Gloucester instead of Bristol Parkway
  • A limited train service will still run between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway on weekdays only – otherwise travel via Bristol Temple Meads instead
  • Buses replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport – and customers are advised to plan their journey beforehand

In addition, buses will also replace trains at Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road for Filton Abbey Wood or Bristol Parkway on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July.

Follow-up engineering work is planned that will affect trains between Bristol and South Wales on Sunday 17 July and again on Sunday 14 August (until midday).

Mark Dix, Project Manager at Network Rail, said:

“The Severn Tunnel is a vital rail link for passengers travelling between Wales and England, so it is extremely important that we invest in its future.

“Once this work is finished, passengers travelling via Bristol Parkway will experience fewer delays with much more reliable journeys.

“I appreciate that this work is going to cause some disruption for passengers, so I would like to thank them in advance for their patience.”

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Notes to editors

First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here:  

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

07703 890 711