Wales

Severn Tunnel reopens after £10m electrification work

Severn Tunnel Image copyright BBC news grab

The Severn Tunnel has reopened after closing for six weeks for rail electrification works.

It was shut on 12 September for a £10m upgrade to make the infrastructure ready for electric trains.

This was part of the wider £2.8bn scheme to electrify the main line from London to south Wales.

Three teams of 200 engineers have worked around the clock, 24 hours a day, to complete the work.

This included installing a power rail in the tunnel roof.

During the tunnel closure, rail replacement buses operated between south Wales and Bristol via Gloucester, and flights took passengers from Cardiff to London City airport.

GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said: "I appreciate how disruptive this work may have been for some and I would like to thank them for your patience during the last six weeks.

"The vital work will modernise the railway between south Wales and London which, once complete, will enable us to deliver more frequent services, more seats, and to reduce journey times."

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said: "I recognise the closure of the tunnel has been a challenge for many of us here, but it's clear the benefits will vastly outweigh this short period."

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