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Author Topic: Stroud route half-term closure  (Read 3900 times)
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« on: September 20, 2009, 10:51:44 pm »

The Swindon-Standish Junction line will be shut between October 26-30 for work on Sapperton Tunnel, embankments at Kemble and vegetation clearance. A couple of peak train to and from London will be run via Bristol Parkway.

More at
John R
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 07:52:04 pm »

1 hr 40 mins bus replacement Swindon to Gloucester doesn't look particularly attractive! (Only 1 hr 30 in the up direction.)
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 11:59:18 pm »

Any idea if the routeing restriction "Stroud" on the cheaper fares will be relaxed to allow travel via Bristol Parkway? I don't know for sure but I'm guessing this would be quicker than the bus.
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2009, 12:10:54 am »

On the basis that they allowed Worcester passengers to travel via Parkway during the summer closure on the Cotswold Line, I would be amazed if they didn't allow travel that way for Gloucester and Cheltenham passengers on via Stroud tickets.
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2009, 12:04:38 am »

The timetable for train and bus services on the Stroud route during the half-term closure, including a couple of peak trains to and from London which are running via Bristol Parkway, is now available at
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2009, 08:44:00 pm »

More detail on the closure of Sapperton tunnel, on 30/31 October, from

Strengthening Victorian shafts at Sapperton

A ^2m improvement scheme is set to improve the four deep shafts in the century-old Sapperton rail tunnel.

Once the improvement work is completed, passengers will benefit from a more reliable rail service in the Stroud and Kemble area.  Work will begin next Sunday night and will be carried out round the clock into the small hours of 31 October. Old capping beams will make way for new concrete ones ^ designed to last for the next 125 years, providing a permanent solution to secure the voids and to strengthen the rail tunnel.

Chris Rayner, route director, Network Rail said: ^A complex scheme like this will normally take six to eight weeks, but we will be completing it in just under a week to minimise any inconvenience caused to passengers.  We will also make full use of this six days to carry out strengthening work on the embankment wall near Kemble station. We have recently held a series of meet-the-manager sessions with First Great Western and the feedback received are very positive.  We would like to thank passengers for their patience and for giving us their support to carry out this work.^

Measuring 6m wide by nearly 50m deep, these shafts were among the 10 built in the 19th century to allow workers to access into the hillside to construct the Sapperton railway tunnel.  However, they were not backfilled and were instead capped off with a combination of concrete and timber after the construction of the tunnel was completed.

As these four shafts were built beneath the 1 3/8 mile long railway tunnel, track and rail ballast must be removed for engineers to access them safely.  Road-rail cranes will be used to lift and install the pre-cast concrete beams, weighing 4 tonnes each, into the shafts.

An army of 100 men will be moving nearly 1,000 tonnes of materials and eight 25m-long track into and out of an inaccessible area.

Alternative train and coach services will be provided to rail passengers travelling between Swindon ^ Cheltenham Spa.  Passengers are advised to check their journey time before they travel.

William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
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