13 JANUARY 2020
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More frequent services, more seats and quicker journeys are being promised by rail company Great Western Railway (GWR) after track and equipment improvements meant it could begin operating trains under electric traction between Cardiff and London Paddington.
Interim managing director Matthew Golton travelled to London on one of the first electric weekday services to celebrate completion of the first stage of the work, which leaves just the Severn Tunnel to be electrified.
GWR says Network Rail (NR) is now working on the tunnel but the project does not affect journey time improvements GWR promised and is delivering from the 15 December timetable change since trains are bi-mode and switch to diesel for that section.
Golton said: “I’m really pleased the final stage of the electrification bar the Severn Tunnel has been completed, helping us to deliver the improvements we promised for passengers. It is a landmark for our services.”
NR engineers worked round the clock over the Christmas and New Year period to switch on the electricity, replace track, renew switches and crossings to allow trains to change tracks and undertake other essential tasks.
NR Wales and Borders route director Bill Kelly said: “The results of the work will be hugely beneficial for passengers for years to come.”
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