Newbury Electrification Work in October 2018 – a letter from GWR

This letter was recently sent by Mark Hopwood of GWR  to Steve Smith of the Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group (BTPG) and is reproduced here verbatim. For more information about BTPG and to sign up to its newsletters (which we recommend if you want to receive timely, accurate and intelligible information about rail services in the area), please contact Steve at

Dear Steve

A quick reminder that the next stage of Newbury electrification work runs from Monday 8 to Thursday 11 October.  This will be the final weekday closure.  The previously planned four day closure in November has now been amended to late evening and overnight work only.

There will also be overnight and weekend work in October, most notably on Sunday 21st.

More details including diversionary routes, bus times and alternative car park arrangements are on our dedicated Newbury web page

To keep you updated with the progress of goodwill payments to our customers, we will be sending out the first wave of cheques by the end of September, with the second coming once the work is fully complete.

Network Rail have made great progress with the electrification work, and I am really pleased that they have been able to reduce the number of weekday closures.

Intercity Express Trains have started to operate in the Kennet Valley and along with all electric Electrostar trains replacing older turbo trains from January 2019, we can look forward to bringing the new trains and added capacity you rightfully expect.

It has not been a pain free experience and we are grateful to you for your patience and support while work was completed.

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for the recent poor performance of our services.  There are many reasons for this, including the final, most complex stage of the transition from one fleet to another. We know it is not good enough and we are working closely with Network Rail to return to a stable railway.

Best wishes



Mark Hopwood | Managing Director | Great Western Railway
Milford House | Swindon | Wiltshire | SN1 1HL


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