Rail commuters passing through Bath Spa this summer face a difficult journey between July 18th and the end of August.
That’s the period services will be disrupted by the closure of the Box Tunnel for the lowering of the railway track as part of the electrification of the line between London and Bristol.
Network Rail bill this 7.5 billion pound modernisation scheme – which will also involve buying new rail stock – as the biggest investment in the Great Western railway since it was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1838.
The Virtual Museum of Bath has been able to question the man who will oversea this work and get a commitment from him that services will be up and running again from 5 am on the morning of September 1st.
This is a lengthy interview but – if you are a rail user or someone concerned about how this modernisation programme will impact on historic sites such as Bath’s Sydney Gardens – it is worth sticking with it to the end.
I asked Andrew Haynes – who is Network Rail’s Programme Director for the West of England – what exactly would be happening in the months to come.
Network Rail are to hold many public consultation meetings in Bath in the months to come. Go through to their website via http://www.networkrail.co.uk/great-western-route-modernisation/ to find out more about the work and consultation dates.