South East Wales

Severn Tunnel to shut for electrification work

Severn Tunnel Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption The Severn Tunnel will be closed for electrification work until 6 July

Rail passengers travelling between south Wales and London face longer journey times for the next three weeks as the Severn Tunnel will be closed.

Main line services between Swansea and London Paddington will take 40 minutes longer as trains will be diverted via Gloucester from Saturday until 6 July.

Great Western Railway said those trains will not call at Bristol Parkway.

The closure is due to a £2.8bn project to electrify the south Wales main line for GWR's new electric trains.

Commuters between Bristol and south Wales will be forced to take a rail-replacement bus service.

Trains between England's south coast and Wales will start and end at Bristol Parkway, with buses linking to Newport.

On Sunday, there will be no direct trains between south Wales and London with all services starting and terminating at Bristol Parkway.

Replacement coaches will run to Newport for trains to Cardiff and Swansea.

The work will affect passengers going to major events in south Wales such as England's cricket matches in Cardiff as they face Australia on Saturday and India next month.

Fans going to four Ed Sheeran concerts at the Principality Stadium next week may also be affected by the works.

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Media captionInside the closed four-mile-long underwater Severn Tunnel

The track inside the four-mile Severn Tunnel is to be renewed, while "further electrification works" are planned. The track will also be lowered in the two Patchway tunnels.

For passengers a bus service will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport and stop at Patchway and Severn Tunnel Junction.

Trains will continue to run as normal between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads via Bath, but there will only be one direct service an hour from London to Bristol Parkway.

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