South East Wales

£300m Cardiff rail upgrade to disrupt Christmas travel

Arriva Trains Wales train in Cardiff Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Arriva Trains Wales said the work will allow for more services to run on the Cardiff and Valleys network

Rail services will be disrupted across south Wales over Christmas due to "essential modernisation work".

Network Rail is working on a £300m re-signalling project to ease congestion.

It will affect local Cardiff and Valleys services and mainline services between Newport and Bridgend, and is scheduled to last from Christmas Eve to 2 January.

A Great Western Railway spokesman said it was "not ideal" but necessary.

The most affected days are 27 and 28 December and 1 and 2 January, when replacement bus services will be running.

Arriva Trains Wales said their planners had been "working very hard to minimise disruption" but urged customers to plan ahead and allow more time for their journeys.

The work will see the new platform eight open at Cardiff Central station.

Arriva Trains Wales customer services director, Lynne Milligan, said the signalling work will make services "more robust" and the new platform will "give them more flexibility".

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Media captionChristian Irwin from Network Rail said the upgrades will allow them to run more trains through Cardiff Central

John Pockett, Wales manager of Great Western Railway, admitted it was "not ideal" doing the work at this time of the year.

"But it's never going to be ideal when you're running a rail service," he said.

"It doesn't interfere with commuters, which is very important and which would happen if this was carried out during normal work times, so I think it's probably the least of all evils."

He said GWR would be "relaxing" the peak service times and off-peak tickets would be valid on peak services.

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