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Network Rail works

Network Rail need to lower the track under the listed Roman Road/Ermin Street bridge to create room for the Overhead Line Equipment that will power the new electric trains.

The works mean they will be working in the Swindon area over the weekends of 27-29 May and 10-11 June 2017 as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. The work Roman Road/Ermin Street bridge and Swindon station will pave the way for electrification of the Great Western main line from London to Cardiff and the arrival of GWR’s new fleet of InterCity Express trains.

What does the work involve?

Network Rail needs to lower the track under the listed Roman Road/Ermin Street bridge to create room for the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE) that will power the new electric trains. They need to carry out site preparation works, remove rail and sleepers, remove spoil from the site, and install new ballast, sleepers and rails.

They will follow this with a process known as tamping, when a machine is used to pack the track ballast under the railway tracks to make them more durable. Tamping will ensure that the new sleepers sit fit firmly in the ballast, reducing noise and vibrations from the passing trains. Drainage work and follow-up work will also be required.

Due to the deep excavation under the bridge, Ermin Street will close to traffic for the two core weekends of 27-29 May and 10-11 June, subject to local authority approval. Under the proposed closure, motorists would be required to follow a signed diversion via the A4312 Oxford Road, Greenbridge Roundabout and the B4006 Swindon Road. The bridge would remain open to pedestrians. .

When will the work take place?

Preparatory work will be undertaken during the following shifts;

  • From 00:55 to 08:20 Sunday 30th April, Sunday 7th, Sunday 14th and Sunday 21st May 2017
  • There will then be working around the clock over the two core weekends, when no trains are running on this section of the line.
  • From 01:30 Saturday 27th May 2017 to 05:00 Tuesday 30th May 2017
  • From 01:30 Saturday 10th June 2017 to 05:00 Monday 12th June 2017

After lowering the track, they plan to return to carry out tamping at the following times:

  • Between 22:20 on Monday 5th – 05:20 on Tuesday 6th June
  • Between 00:55 – 08:20 on Sunday 18th June
  • Between 22:20 on Wednesday 19th – 05:20 on Thursday 20th July

Following these three shifts Network Rail will be undertaking follow up work in the area from Thursday 20th July – Sunday 20th August. They will be working intermittently over this period and our working times will be:

  • Midweek shifts from 22:20 – 05:20
  • Weekend shifts from 00:55 – 08:20

They will need to return to the bridge later this year to raise the parapets, or side walls, of the bridge to provide a barrier between users of the structure and the overhead power lines. The dates of this work will be publicised when they are confirmed.

Swindon Station works – what does the work involve?

As part of this programme we need to prepare Swindon station for the new fleet of electric trains by installing the Overhead Line Equipment (OLE), removing and replacing four signal gantries, extending Platform 1 and cutting back the platform canopies. Work began late last year and we plan to use the weekends of 27-29 May and 10-11 June to make further progress.

Additional work

Over these two weekends, we will also be working to lower the track beneath the listed Hunts Mill bridge at Royal Wootton Bassett to create room for the OLE.

How will we manage the impact on our neighbours?

We recognise that construction work on the railway can be disruptive to those living or working nearby. The nature of our work often means some disturbance is unavoidable, but please be assured that every effort is made to minimise any unnecessary noise and we have reminded all staff and contractors to be considerate of the environment they are working in.

Will train journeys be affected?

From 27-29 May and 10-11 June, train services through Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham and Bristol Parkway will be amended. High Speed trains between London, Bristol and South Wales will be diverted and rail replacement services will operate on routes through Swindon. Trains between Cheltenham Spa and Swindon will continue to run.

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Contact us

Residents with any queries about the work should call Network Rail’s 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41 or email Follow us on Twitter @networkrailwest.

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