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  • South Wales Mainline Modernisation

    Service changes - Modernisation

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    Significant Changes: Monday to Friday Services.

    Network Rail is carrying out essential modernisation and electrification work between Cardiff and Newport affecting train services throughout South Wales on:

    • Monday to Friday, 23 April to 25 May
    • Monday to Friday, 25 June to 6 July
    Warning Triangle  Updated timetables only available 5 days before each impacted week. Please check this website regularly, prior to travel and ask Arriva Train Wales staff for assistance.

    We are doing all we can to reduce any inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

    Key Changes to Arriva Trains Wales Services:

    (Many other Arriva Trains Wales (ATW), Great Western Railway (GWR) and CrossCountry services throughout South Wales will also be subject to minor retimings.)

    Monday 23 to Friday 27 April.
    Monday 30 April to Friday 4 May.
    Monday 21 to Friday 25 May.
    Monday 2 to Friday 6 July. 


    Saturday 5 to Friday 11 May.
    Monday 14 to Friday 18 May.
    Monday 25 to Friday 29 June.


    ATW Manchester and Holyhead services:

    • Replacement bus service between:
      • Cardiff and Cwmbran
      • Newport and Cwmbran

    ATW Services between Cardiff and Newport:

    • Less frequent

    Ebbw Vale line:

    • Replacement bus service only.

    ATW Holyhead services:

    • Start and terminate at Hereford. Use ATW Manchester service between Cardiff and Hereford.

    ATW Cheltenham services:

    • Start and terminate at Gloucester. Services retimed between Cardiff and Gloucester. Use other operators between Gloucester and Cheltenham.

    Cardiff Central and Newport stations:

    • Platform changes & restrictions. Cardiff local and Valleys services: Minor retimings.

    Saturday 16 June – Friday 6 July

    GWR London and Bristol services:

    • Impacted by Severn Tunnel closure.


    Ticket Acceptances & Refunds

    • Information available shortly

    Passenger Assistance

    • Passengers booking assistance and those with disabilities: please call our Passenger Assist Team on 033 300 50 501
    • More info available here

    Replacement Bus Services

    • Advice on large luggage, bicycles, dogs, pushchairs - information available shortly

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        South Wales Mainline Modernisation  

      South Wales Mainline Modernisation:

      Transforming future rail travel in Wales with more frequent services, shorter journey times and added seats. Connecting people, communities, businesses across Wales and beyond.

      Network Rail Logo

      Last Updated: 16/04/2018
      Next Update: 23/04/2018

    • FAQ - Mainline Modernisation

      Why are you doing this at such short notice?

      Network Rail has already delivered a huge amount of work to modernise the South Wales mainline. This has included the reconstruction or modification of 29 Victorian-era bridges, the biggest upgrade of the Severn Tunnel in its 150 year history, and enhancements at Cardiff Central and Newport station.

      The project has reached a critical stage and in Wales, Network Rail is now focussed on the installation of the overhead line equipment that will power the brand new bi-mode trains between London and Cardiff. The safety of passengers and staff is a key priority for Network Rail and this work can only be delivered when trains are not running.

      Why won’t the timetables be in the booking system until 5 days before the travel date?

      Any timetable amendments need to be agreed and validated by Network Rail. Timetables will be complete no more than five days before travel date due to the nature of the modernisation work and the complexity involved with the associated service changes.

      In advance of the information going in the booking system, rail replacement bus services will be posted on this web page as soon as they become available.


      Will revised timetable be available at the station?

      Once the amended timetables have been validated and entered into the booking systems, amended timetables will be posted in the yellow engineering work poster frames at your station and at your local ticket booking office. Bus timetables will be posted up at stations before they are in the on-line booking systems.  

      How much extra time will the rail replacement bus service add to my journey?

      The rail replacement bus service has been planned to make the journey as direct and fast as possible. 

      Approx average rail replacement bus service times during morning and afternoon peak times.

      Route Bus Time*
      Cardiff Central to Cwmbran 01:05 hrs
      Newport to Cwmbran 00:25 hrs

      Ebbw Vale Town to Cardiff Central

      (calling all stations )

      02:04 hrs
      Ebbw Vale Town to Cardiff Central (calling at Ebbw Vale Parkway and Llanhilieth) 01:35 hrs
      Rogerstone to Cardiff Central ( calling at Pye Corner) 00:58 hrs
      Newbridge to Cardiff ( calling at Cross Keys and Risca) 01:16 hrs


      *Subject to variation depending on time of travel and traffic 

      An enhanced rail replacement bus service will be provided during peak times with services to match the normal departure times and morning services to match the normal arrival times (requiring an earlier departure time).  

      For Ebbw Vale line services, there will be a combination of fast direct services and stopper services to help reduce journey times. 

      Is there a rail replacement bus service between Cardiff and Newport?

      No, however train services between Cardiff and Newport will be reduced.  ATW Maesteg - Gloucester services will continue to run between Cardiff and Newport along with GWR and Cross Country services, however these services will be retimed.  Extra capacity will be added to the Maesteg - Gloucester services where possible. 

      What happens if the bus service misses my connecting train?

      The rail replacement bus services have been planned to try to ensure connections with train services where possible, however they cannot be guaranteed due to influences beyond our control such as heavy traffic.

      If you do miss your connection, your ticket will be valid on the following service, and depending on the nature of the delay, you could be entitled to a refund


      I have accessibility needs, how will I access the rail replacement bus service?

      Customer service teams will at all stations along the affected routes to give a helping hand.

      Most rail replacement bus services running on the Ebbw Vale line and between Newport and Cwmbran will be fully accessible by wheelchair as service buses have been planned.* 

      Coaches will be used between Cardiff Central and Cwmbran.  Should the bus not be accessible, a member of our customer services team at the station will make alternative travel arrangements. 

      You can also book passenger assistance ahead of travel call 033 300 50501

      *some express services during morning and evening peak will be a coach service.

      Will luggage be allowed on the rail replacement bus service?

      Rail replacement bus services between Cwmbran - Cardiff, will have a large amount of luggage space, accommodating luggage and fold up bikes and prams.

      Rail replacement bus service between Cwmbran - Newport and on the Ebbw Vale line will be service buses and so will have very limited luggage space. However prams will be able to be taken on unfolded.

      Can I take my dog on the rail replacement bus service?

      Dogs are not permitted on rail replacement services with the exception of guide dogs.

      I take my bike on the train, can I take it on the bus?

      Bikes are not permitted on rail replacement services due to space availability. Folding bikes however are permitted if they are fully folded.

      Where will I get the bus from my station?

      Rail replacement bus stops will be signposted from your station and customer service staff will be at hand to help.  Rail replacement bus stop information can also be found at or on the station's Useful Information poster.

      Can I buy a ticket on the bus?

      There are no ticket purchasing facilities available on board buses.  Tickets must be bought prior to boarding the rail replacement bus at your local booking office, ticket vending machine, on-line or through a ticket booking app.

      I bought my ticket before the changes and the revised timetable is not suitable, what do I do if I want a ticket refund?

      Please apply for a refund via the retailer who sold you your ticket.

      There will be no administrative fee for this refund.

      Will I be entitled to any compensation for my season ticket?

      There will be no discounts for customers having their train times amended, journey times extended or being required to use a replacement bus service as services will still be maintained. 

      There will also be no void days or partial refunds for the above reasons.

      Why are there no Advance tickets available for my journey during the modernisation works?

      Advance Purchase tickets are only valid on specific booked trains, which may not be running during engineering work. 


      Will my ticket be valid on different routes?

      Yes, we have agreed ticket acceptance with GWR, and Cross Country to ensure the maximum number of alternative routes are available.