Network Rail have announced the first in a series of monthly drop-in events in which local people will be able find out more about the electrification of the railway through Bath – including the sensitive historic stretch through Sydney Gardens.
The first event will take place between 4pm and 7.30pm on Wednesday 15 October at the Guildhall on the High Street.
Representatives from Network Rail and its contractor, Hochtief, as well as train operator First Great Western will be on hand to explain the work being undertaken and to answer any questions.
Network Rail is electrifying the historic Great Western Main Line from London Paddington through to Swansea, with work starting in Bath next summer. They say the upgrade will deliver significant benefits for Bath, North East Somerset and the whole of the South West, including:
Faster, quieter, more reliable trains
Up to 20% more seats on trains, along with better facilities for disabled passengers and passengers with bikes
Up to 30% less carbon emissions
Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s regional Managing Director, said: “The benefits of electrification for Bath and the South West of England region as a whole are considerable. We are working closely with Bath and North East Somerset Council and First Great Western to manage the work carefully and considerately, but there will be some unavoidable disruption to trains through the city while we upgrade the railway. I would encourage residents to come along to our drop-in sessions to find out about the work and the long-term benefits electrification will bring.”
Two further drop-in events are scheduled for 2014 and will take place on Tuesday 3 November and Tuesday 2 December. Further details of both sessions will be circulated in due course.
According to Network Rail:
Electrification will transform the railway between London and Oxford, Newbury, Bristol and Cardiff to deliver a faster, greener, quieter and more reliable railway for passengers, with extra capacity. Electrifying this part of the Great Western route will enhance 235 miles of one of Britain’s busiest and oldest railways, better connecting major towns and cities across southern England and South Wales. This investment, as well as the introduction of a fleet of new trains, will improve journey times and make services more comfortable, smoother, cleaner and quieter for passengers and people living near the railway.
For more information about the Great Western Electrification Programme, visit: http://www.networkrail.co.uk/great-western-route-modernisation/