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Train line set to reopen after a three-week closure

But more closures yet to come

Charlotte Booth

Charlotte Booth


01635 886637

33-3013D Newbury Train station

THE train line between Pewsey and Theale will reopen on Sunday after being closed for the past three weeks. 

Commuters have had to find alternative ways to travel while Network Rail carried out the latest phase of work ahead of electrification.

But this is not the end of their misery, as the route will be closed again from Tuesday, August 28, until Thursday, August 30, while further three-day closures are expected in October and November. 

In total, the Newbury to Reading route will experience 27 days closure over the summer.

The upgrade work will allow Great Western Railway (GWR) to run new Electrostar trains and IETs – formally called Intercity Express Trains – direct between Newbury and the capital.

As well as commissioning the overhead electric lines, Network Rail will complete track renewal, ballast work and general maintenance works.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: “With the completion of electrification work, we will be able to run brand-new electric and bi-mode IETs to Newbury, supporting the local economy with more train seats, more comfortable and more frequent journeys.”

Each IET will offer up to 24 per cent more seats than the high-speed train it replaces, which will see more than 4,500 extra seats every day between Newbury and London Paddington from early 2019.

The new electric trains will replace older diesel stock operating between Newbury and London Paddington and a wider timetable is set to accompany the increased seat availability.

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Article comments

  • NewburyLad

    03/08/2018 - 08:08

    "Each IET will offer up to 24 per cent more seats than the high-speed train it replaces".... Please be aware that the statement only applies if the IET is a 9 carriage train or if it is made up of two 5 carriage IET trains joined together (ie 10 carriage long) and both halves are unlocked. There have been many examples of GWR running a single 5 carriage train in lieu of a 5+5 one or running a 5+5 train with one half locked out of use because they don't have enough staff or because of a technical error. When that happens, the available seating is no where near to what an HST offers.