Wales & West Utilities’ Gareth Cook who is responsible for the gas diversion works associated with the electrification programme between Swindon and Swansea.

The rail electrification programme between Swansea and London Paddington is being helped by Wales & West Utilities as it works on bridges along the route between Swindon and Swansea.

Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service which serves Wales and the south west of England, is working with Network Rail to divert gas pipes on and surrounding the bridges that Network Rail will be working on.

As part of the electrification programme a number of bridges – both road and pedestrian - have been identified by Network Rail as needing to be replaced, raised or have the tracks lowered. This essential work will make sure that the new electric trains can run safely and efficiently, a fundamental part of the electrification works.

Andrew Hopkins, Director of Operations at Wales & West Utilities, explains:

“In the past, gas pipes were often laid in or close to bridges, and our work to divert them is an integral part of the electrification programme. We’re working closely with Network Rail when they work on bridges so we can make sure that our customers continue to receive a safe and reliable supply of gas and work on the bridges can be done as safely and as efficiently as possible.

“This is a huge, essential investment programme for Network Rail. To date we have fully completed work at three locations in Wales – Windsor Road Bridge in Cardiff and Newport’s Cardiff Road and Somerton Road. We will continue to work closely with Network Rail as required.”

Wales & West Utilities has also been working at four other bridge locations across its operating area in Royal Wooton Bassett, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.

Cerys Canning, Communications Executive for Network Rail, added:

“Electrification will mean greener, faster trains, with more seats and more reliable journeys for thousands of passengers every day.

“We are carrying out an extensive work programme as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan including demolishing and modifying a large number of bridges along the South Wales Mainline, and closing the Severn Tunnel for six weeks in mid-September, in order to prepare it for the new fleet of electric trains. We appreciate this may affect journeys but would like to thank passengers for bearing with us while we build a better railway for South Wales.”

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

Our team is also working on a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.