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Bristol modernisation work to restart in November with overhead line upgrade

Modernisation work in Bristol will continue in November with Network Rail planning electrification and platform improvements.

Overhead lines will be installed to continue the planned electrification on the route between London Paddington and Bristol and on to Cardiff.

Bristol Parkway station will also experience changes, with platform upgrades expected as well as changes to the tack layout.

The electrification is part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan – projected to finish in late 2018 – which is hoped to provide faster, greener trains with improved capacity.

“The upgrade is absolutely vital and will bring significant passenger benefits once electrification is complete as we continue to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan,” commented Freddie Gleeson, scheme project manager for NR.

“We have chosen to carry out the work overnight and at weekends so we can minimise disruption. However, we apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The electrification will take place overnight on the first two weekends in November and means an overnight closure of the M4 at Junction 19.

GWR recently ran the first of their IET Class 800s between Bristol and Paddington. After some initial problems with air conditioning and system software, the trains are now in full service.

Matthew Barnes, regional development manager for GRW explained how the new modernisation would help to improve the service offered by the new IETS.

He said: “This upgrade work will help to relieve a bottleneck at Bristol Parkway, which is crucial to be able to provide more frequent services and, alongside electrification of the line, will help to deliver the full benefit of our new Intercity Express Trains.

“We would like to thank our customers in advance for their patience during this work, which is a planned continuation of what was started in September.”

Top image: Network Rail

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Andrew Gwilt   03/11/2017 at 06:55

About time. Also what about the electrification to Swansea. Will that still happen.

Simhedges   03/11/2017 at 07:27

Andrew - electrification to Swansea has been cancelled.

Tothehills   03/11/2017 at 13:57

Coming out with the mindless tropes does you no good Andy. Why do you want to extend GWR electrification 40 miles to Swansea to serve 220 000 people where for 30 miles you could serve 500 000. Remember Cardiff is smaller than the city of Bristol, yet Bristol is bi-passed with not even a single metre within the city bounds.

Billd   03/11/2017 at 15:08

Yes, the electrification to Bristol Temple Meads etc have been taken out of the remit given to NR but the Minister indicated that capital schemes would be the subject of discreet packages. We will have to wait to see if any electrification follows on from the current schemes.

Andrew Gwilt   04/11/2017 at 21:23

I understand that the electrification to Swansea has been cancelled. But it could happen once again if the electrification to Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and electrification towards Newport & Cardiff Central is also completed with overhead equipment already been installed on the Severn Tunnel. Then the electrification to Swansea could happen. Depending on whether to carry on with the electrification in South Wales.

Andrew JG   05/11/2017 at 10:22

At least the electrification on the Gospel Oak-Barking line is still continuing and should be completed early next year in time for the Class 710’s to operate on the Gospel Oak-Barking line to replace the Class 172’s.

Fwipperie   07/11/2017 at 21:38

I feel electrification to Swansea is not cost effective for an hourly service and no reduction in journey times, Bristol Temple Meads is a different story, with more frequent trains and I feel will proceed.

Pdeaves   13/11/2017 at 21:58

"Matthew Barnes, regional development manager for GRW..." Who dey, den?

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