A modern electrification scheme to electrify the train line between Bristol and Cardiff has been completed.
This project saw the electrification of 77 kilometres of the Great Western Railway (GWR) line, which forms part of Network Rail’s overall Greater West Electrification Programme to electrify 275 kilometres of train line between Cardiff and London.
Contractor Balfour Beatty completed the Bristol-Cardiff works, deploying over 750 operatives to undertake complex works over the festive period. This included the final installation of the overhead cables at Cardiff Central Station, marking the completion of over 4,200 masts and booms, responsible for holding the 643 kilometres of electric cabling associated with the 77 kilometres section of route.
Following completion, the first electrified train set off from Cardiff Central Station on Monday 06 January.
Mick Rayner, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Rail business, said: “We are proud to have successfully delivered part of the largest modernization project on the Great Western Railway which we been working on for the past three years. Delivering this important upgrade to the Welsh rail network will provide a more sustainable way of travelling for tens of thousands of commuters.”
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Managing Director for Wales and Western added: “I am delighted that services can now run on electricity between Bristol and Cardiff, linking the two capital cities for the very first time via an electric railway. This is the culmination of the largest modernisation project on the Great Western railway since it was built in Victorian times, which we have been working on over the last 10 years.”