Preparations to start at Great Bedwyn for introduction of new trainsFor GWR to run their new five-car bi-mode Intercity Express Trains (IETs) between Bedwyn and Paddington, they need to make a short extension to the turn-back siding at Bedwyn. Bi-mode engines can switch from electric to diesel power - and so travel beyond the electrified line, which ends at Newbury.
As a result, the existing foot crossing at Bedwyn will be closed and re-sited around ten metres west. The footpath will also be realigned.
This work is scheduled to be carried out during the planned closure of the line between Tuesday, August 28 and Thursday, August 30 inclusive - with most of the noisier work taking place during daytime.
This extension to the siding will enable five-car IETs to operate Bedwyn to Paddington services from January 2019.
People in Great Bedwyn are getting more and more worried about parking by rail-users along the village streets. And the larger trains may make matters worse.
As it is, due to a proposed housing development, Hungerford station is set to lose 80 car parking spaces. "This", says Steve Smith of the Bedwyn Trains Passenger Group, "will undoubtedly push more cars our way. We are currently working with GWR to identify land, in the Great Bedwyn area, that could be used as a station car park."
"Meanwhile our shop and Post Office continue to lose trade because local people find it difficult to park near the shop or Post Office. If you make use of our station, and don’t already do so, please consider making use of our shop and Post Office."
On July 2, GWR used one of the new trains on a regular service - for a§ first visit to Bedwyn station (photo above).
This was a significant milestone for Bedwyn station – in 2009 electrification as far as Newbury was announced. This would have relegated Kintbury, Hungerford and Bedwyn to a diesel shuttle to Newbury - meaning no more direct trains to Paddington from Bedwyn.
Steve Smith: "It was a long a painful battle for us at the passenger group as we campaigned to get this decision reversed. The decision to purchase bi-mode IET trains (electric to Newbury, then seamlessly switching to diesel for the run down to Bedwyn) saved the day."
Meanwhile, details of the line closures and replacement buses while electrification work continues, can be found here.