Severn Tunnel closed for electrification works

THE main rail link between England and Wales was closed on September 12 until October 21 as part of the Great Western electrification scheme. During the closure, freight and some passenger servies were diverted via Gloucester, while replacement buses also ran between Newport and Bristol Parkway.

Electrification of the Severn Tunnel was running to plan on October 3, just over halfway through the 40-day blockade. Seven thousand auto transformer feeders were being installed to feed the 14km (8.75 mile) of overhead rigid conductor rail, with road-rail vehicles used to move elevated work platforms through the tunnel. One of the work sites some two kilometres from the English portal is pictured that day. Phil Marsh
Electrification of the Severn Tunnel was running to plan on October 3, just over halfway through the 40-day blockade. Seven thousand auto transformer feeders were being installed to feed the 14km (8.75 mile) of overhead rigid conductor rail, with road-rail vehicles used to move elevated work platforms through the tunnel. One of the work sites some two kilometres from the English portal is pictured that day. Phil Marsh

Intercity services ran hourly between Paddington and South Wales, leaving the main line at Swindon and running via Gloucester and Chepstow to pick up the normal route at Severn Tunnel Junction. There was also an hourly service between Paddington and Bristol Parkway – although the last train direct to Parkway left London at 18.45, after which a change at Temple Meads was necessary.

Services between Portsmouth Harbour and Cardiff were truncated at Bristol Parkway, with replacement buses going forward via the Severn Bridge, adding around 45 minutes to the journey time.

Read more news, views, features, letters and opinion in November’s issue of RE

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