This programme of work forms part of the £400m re-signalling scheme and is set to boost rail performance and unlock capacity constraints on the railway in south Wales. It also builds on the major track improvement work at Maindee Junction last Christmas to remove a rail bottleneck.
Mark Langman, route director for Network Rail said: “The signalling equipment in the Newport area is around 30 years old and is limiting growth on the railway in the area. This is an essential improvement that will also contribute to our ongoing effort to build a world-class railway in Wales.
“For the new signalling equipment to be tested and switched over, there will be some temporary changes to services travelling into and out of Newport. We will be taking extra steps to minimise the disruptions by operating two lines out of four for most of the rail services to run.”
Dan Panes, communication development manager for First Great Western said: “We’ve been working closely with Network Rail to minimise disruption to our customers while they carry out these important signalling improvements. It is important that customers know what is happening so they can plan journeys accordingly, and our station managers will be on hand to answer any questions people might have.”
Ian Bullock, customer services director for Arriva Trains Wales said: “We would like to apologise in advance for the disruption the works will cause to their journeys and ask for their patience and understanding whilst these improvement works are being carried out by Network Rail. However, we are sure that once completed, passengers travelling to and from Newport will benefit from an improved service thanks to the new signalling equipment”.
The majority of rail services will continue to operate with a revised time-table as trains run two out of four lines through Newport area, except for 15 May (Sunday) when there will be no rail services. These services running into and out of Newport from Cardiff, Bristol and Hereford will be replaced by replacement coaches.
Coaches will also replace rail services in the morning on 8 May and late evening on 14 May, and between Newport and Hereford all day on the 14 May.