Latest Rail News

31.05.16

First section of GWML goes live after electrification

The Great Western Main Line (GWML) electrification project has reached a major milestone as a section of the line has been officially declared ‘energised’ for the first time, following delays.

The majority of overhead electrical equipment on the Reading to Didcot line is now installed.

The project experienced delays before the first wires were installed last year, and there are ongoing concerns about the overall scheme’s estimated cost, which has trebled since 2012, as well as ongoing delays.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said: “This marks a really important milestone in our work to upgrade Brunel’s railway. For the first time a major section of the Great Western Main Line will soon have a fully functioning overhead power supply, enabling us to start testing the new electric trains.

“As safety is our highest priority, it’s very important the public know how to keep themselves and others safe around this new equipment which is why we are carrying out an extensive awareness campaign.”

Network Rail has carried out safety awareness talks at events, schools and colleges to warn members of the public to treat all overhead equipment, whether it looks complete or not, as electrified.

The news was announced at the opening of the £10m Electrification Training Centre in Swindon, where Network Rail engineers will practice installing and maintaining different configurations of the system on a section not connected to the track.

Langman added: “The opening of the Electrification Training Centre, together with the completion of a major part of our electrification programme means communities in the Thames Valley, south west and west are a step closer to the benefits that electrification will bring.

“These include faster trains with more seats and more legroom, and less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway.”

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Comments

Anonymous   01/06/2016 at 14:11

It is NOT live! They are late again and don't let them get away with pretending it is! There are no physical wires between the feeder station and the parts where OLE has been installed so there is no way of making it "live".

Owen Armstrong   19/02/2017 at 13:11

It is bloody live!!!!!!

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