Network Rail is embarking on electrification work on the South Wales Main Line.
The owner and operator of the majority of Britain’s railways is undertaking this major modernisation work so that Intercity Express Trains can run between London and Cardiff on electricity.
Not only will this reduce journey times for passengers, carriages will be quieter and much more environmentally friendly.
At a time when the government has committed to net-zero emissions by 2050, the electrification of the South Wales Main Line is important to helping achieve this goal.
The rail industry as a whole has been banging the electrification drum for quite some time now, and in the context of achieving the net-zero goal, a railway network with electrified, hydrogen or battery trains is vital.
The South Wales Main Line will achieve this by having this technology installed during a number of weekends throughout the summer and autumn.
Network Rail’s route director for Wales and Borders, Bill Kelly, said this is the biggest ever upgrade on the Great Western line.
He commented: “Electrification reaching Cardiff is a significant milestone as we continue to deliver the biggest upgrade to the Great Western mainline since it was built more than 175 years ago.
“We are working closely with our train operating partners to minimise disruption.”
Colin Lea, customer service director for Transport for Wales, is confident this will mean much faster journeys come the end of 2019.
He said: “This vital investment work by our partners in Network Rail will lead to faster journey times between South Wales and Bristol and London by the end of the year.”
By implementing these changes on the South Wales Main Line, GWR say they will be able to realise the ambition of delivering “the biggest timetable change on this network since 1976, enabling us to take advantage of the full benefits that new Intercity Express Trains are bringing.”