HOPWOOD HOPES FOR FURTHER ELECTRIFICATION

THERE IS still a case for electrification to Swansea and Bristol Temple Meads, Great Western Railway Managing Director Mark Hopwood told MPs on the Welsh Affairs Committee in February.

Electrification from Cardiff to Swansea was cancelled in 2017, the Department for Transport arguing that bi-mode trains made the disruption of electrification unnecessary. GWR’s Class 800 units switch modes at Cardiff Central, but bi-modes are not available for freight west of Cardiff or the local and long-distance passenger services operated by Transport for Wales.

Mr Hopwood said: ‘The train I run on the London route is bi-mode, it can run on diesel or electric, but it performs much better and is clearly friendlier to the environment in electric mode, so I would very much support initiatives like electrification to Swansea. There is probably more of an environmental benefit than perhaps a timetable benefit.’

Mr Hopwood said the recent Filton four-tracking aided capacity and performance. He added: ‘I am disappointed that we have not yet seen electrification into Bristol Temple Meads, which would allow us to run electric trains from Bristol to Cardiff. I would very much support that.’

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