Speaking exclusively to RAIL, Network Rail Regional Director of Infrastructure Projects Great Western and Crossrail Region Robbie Burns said the first section of electrified track to be completed on the Great Western Main Line will be between Reading and Didcot at the end of September this year. This 16-mile section will act as a test track to allow NR to gain experience and for the Class 800/801 trains to be tested.
If NR meets its targets the wires should be up and operational to Wootton Bassett, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff and Newbury by December 2018, with Bath following at the end of April 2019, Oxford by June 2019, Bristol Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads by the end of July 2019, and to all platforms at Bristol Temple Meads by the end of April 2020. A date for the wires to reach Swansea is still to be confirmed.
Burns is responsible for the GWRM between London, Bristol and the Cardiff region. He is also in charge of Crossrail surface works between Paddington and Maidenhead, Stratford to Shenfield and to Abbey Wood. Crossrail will have a major impact on the Great Western Main Line (GWML), as it will run from Paddington to Reading. Burns told RAIL the project is running on time and to budget.
- For more on this, read RAIL 800, published today (May 11).