First Great Western (FGW) and Network Rail plan to restore the majority of services into and out of London Paddington from Monday 17th February.
Network Rail’s engineering and maintenance teams have been working tirelessly to try and solve the problems caused by the flooding at Maidenhead that had crippled the normal signalling system reducing service to just 20% of normal. Through a series of innovative engineering solutions, from start of service on Monday, in excess of 75% of normal services will be running.
FGW is planning to run a near normal service on high speed routes into and out of London on Monday with the exception of the route closures at Dawlish, and between Bridgwater and Taunton. Buses will run on those routes that are closed.
Local services will also be running between Reading and London on Monday, although because of the flooding affecting signalling equipment near Maidenhead, there will be a small number of trains that we won’t be able to run.
Mark Hopwood, First Great Western managing director, said: “This is great news for our passengers, who have faced a very difficult period of travel. We are finalising a new amended timetable, which we will publish through our online systems later today. To help customers who postponed journeys last week, ticket restrictions remain lifted until Monday. Customers are strongly advised to check our website before setting off in the morning.”
Patrick Hallgate, Network Rail’s route managing director, said: “My team have worked night and day to try and improve the situation for passengers using this route. Our signalling equipment is under several feet of floodwater but with some innovative thinking a temporary system has been put in place that should see us through the next few weeks until the water recedes.We continue to work on further fixes that may further improve capacity through this section next week.”
Robin Gisby, Network Rail’s managing director of operations added: “Passengers have been tremendously understanding during a period of extraordinary weather that has had a major impact on rail services in some areas. Services are returning to normal, but for some, especially in the far west where parts of the railway have been destroyed, it will be a number of weeks yet until we are able to offer the level and standard of service people have rightly come to expect.”