Six-week closure of the Severn Tunnel underway for GWML electrification

NETWORK Rail will be tackling one of the biggest challenges of the Great Western Main Line electrification programme from September 12 when it takes full possession of the Severn Tunnel for a full six weeks until October 21.

The Severn Tunnel will be home to Network Rail engineers for six weeks from September 12 as they install overhead line equipment for the GWML electrification. Here, they are seen performing preparatory work to remove layers of built-up soot and ash. NETWORK RAIL
The Severn Tunnel will be home to Network Rail engineers for six weeks from September 12 as they install overhead line equipment for the GWML electrification. Here, they are seen performing preparatory work to remove layers of built-up soot and ash. NETWORK RAIL

This will allow engineers to work ‘24/7’ in order to make the 130-year-old tunnel fit for a purpose for which it was never designed.

The tunnel’s closure will affect the majority of passenger services into and out of South Wales, including those to and from London, Portsmouth Harbour and south-west England.

Those travelling on GWR high-speed services from Paddington will be diverted between Swindon and Newport via Gloucester, with up to 35 minutes being added to typical journey times. A reduced frequency of trains will also be in force, with rail replacement buses being in operation for all other services.

Read more in September’s issue of The RM

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