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Planned weekend engineering work may affect your rail journey

Some train services via Bristol Parkway will be affected by essential track maintenance planned to take place over weekends in October.

Maintenance work both inside and on approach to the Severn Tunnel will impact trains between London and South Wales on four weekends.

Network Rail engineers will undertake a range of critical work including track and drainage upgrades as well as surveys and repairs on a number of bridges, tunnels and masts between Bristol Parkway and Severn Tunnel Junction.

Weekends of 9/10, 16/17 and 23/24 October, and Sunday 31 October:

  • Trains between London Paddington and Swansea will not stop at Bristol Parkway
  • These services will use an alternative route between Swindon and Newport instead – extending journey times by around 40 minutes
  • Trains will still run between Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads, and between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Parkway instead of Cardiff Central
  • Train services will also continue to run from Bristol Parkway towards the Midlands, the North of England or Scotland as well as towards the South West
  • Travel via Bristol Temple Meads instead for trains towards Swindon, Didcot Parkway, Reading or London Paddington
  • Buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport – running non-stop every 30 minutes and stopping at all stations hourly.

GWR Customer Service Manager, South Wales, David Bailey said:

“This work is vital to ensure the safe operation of the railway for years to come, and we thank passengers in advance for their understanding.”

Miles Harvey, Network Rail Scheme Project Manager commented:

“We would like thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we complete this essential work.

“The railway line between England and south Wales is a vital artery in Britain’s transport infrastructure and this work needs to be carried out to ensure we can continue to provide a safe and reliable route for passengers and freight for many years to come.”

There are also plans to carry out work between Bristol Parkway and Swindon when long-distance services are diverted away from this route.

This planned engineering work will help to protect a key route for customers travelling between South Wales and London or Bristol for years to come.

Work will be suspended on Saturday 30 October when Wales are due to play New Zealand at the Principality Stadium in the 2021 autumn internationals.

Rugby fans travelling via Cardiff Central for the game should however note that train services will be affected the following day, Sunday 31 October.

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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 was recently awarded an extension to its direct award franchise (called DA3), which shall run up to 31 March 2023, with an option to extend for a further year. Find out more here:

GWR’s enhanced cleaning regime includes:

  • A 24% increase in cleaning hours every week since March 2020
  • Sanitising (fogging) of 1,120 vehicles every 4 weeks
  • Carrying out 2,150 on board surface tests (ATP) every four weeks, to ensure the effectiveness of our cleaning
  • 272 train cleaning processes reviewed, and many adapted
  • Hand sanitising facilities at key stations across its network.

Contact Information

James Davis

Media Relations Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444

07703 890 711