Rail News


October 01 , 2021

Gloucestershire's Severn estuary rail line to get £25m upgrade

30 September 2021 (UK)

A multimillion-pound rescue plan has been announced to revamp a vital rail line ravaged by extreme weather.

The Newport to Gloucester line runs along the west bank of the River Severn and is a major artery connecting South Wales with the West Country.

In recent years severe landslips have caused major disruption on the tracks.

The £25m works, due to begin in summer 2022, will involve bolstering the cliff face along the railway line.

The project will be the biggest investment in the Newport-Gloucester line since it was opened in the 1850s.

Jess Lippett, senior route freight manager for Network Rail Wales & Western, said: "This is one the busiest and most important freight routes in Wales and Borders, so it's really important to the economy.

"As we saw through the pandemic, this route really is a lifeline, and the current shortage in HGV drivers means it's playing an even more vital role."

Running alongside the Severn Estuary, its location means the track is often exposed to more frequent extreme weather conditions.

In the last two years alone, the line has been hit by five major landslips, leading to extended closures of the railway and temporary speed restrictions, delaying more than 200,000 trains.

The works planned for the track are designed to prevent this from happening again.

Bill Kelly, route director for the firm, said: "We've seen a huge increase in extreme weather events across our network in recent years.

"Climate change is happening here and now, and across Wales and Borders - from the Conwy Valley to the Welsh marches and Severn Estuary - we're responding by building a more resilient railway."


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