Great Western Railway and Network Rail have informed us about work on the railway scheduled over the Christmas period and which services will be operating.
As part of the Railway Upgrade Plan they are undertaking their largest ever resignalling scheme outside London Paddington in preparation for the opening of the Elizabeth Line. London Paddington will be closed for four days over the holiday period. They have a full plan in place to support customers with alternative journeys, which is on their website at GWR.com/Christmas2017.
As well as the Elizabeth Line work, over Christmas they will be commissioning the new overhead electric line equipment between Didcot Parkway and Maidenhead. This will mean they can roll out the rest of their electric fleet of Class 387 trains and can run their Intercity Express Trains under electric power from Didcot to London.
They will also be able to move more of their Turbo trains to the West of England and South Wales. This will mean additional capacity from the return to work after Christmas. There is still more to do, and they will keep rolling out their trains through 2018, so that in January 2019 they can introduce more journey time savings from the new trains and improved track.
The timetable changes over Christmas were advised a bit later than usual as there were some requests for extra work. There are therefore a small number of customers who have tickets for trains where the timetable has now been revised. They have contacted everyone they can by email or phone. There are some others where they have no contact details and they are therefore using station posters, social and traditional media to remind customers to check their travel plans again before they set out.
So please check the revised timetable before setting out on your journey!