With the introduction of its summer timetable next Sunday, 21st May, Great Western Railway's train services will undergo the largest number of changes in five years.
In response to changes in passenger travel patterns, and following an extensive review so that services operate when people wish to travel, the new timetable will provide almost a 5% increase in train services across the company's network every day. Also, around 20% of all trains will be re-timed to better suit passenger needs.
In South Wales, there will be an extra 65 extra trains a week and 44 additional services every day in the wider Bristol area.
A summary of the changes is as follows:
London and Thames Valley:
- Additional Elizabeth line services will run, with up to ten trains per hour east of Heathrow Airport Junction.
- London Paddington to Didcot Parkway services will run non-stop from Slough to Paddington with a reduction of up to 10 minutes in journey times.
- There will be minor changes resulting from the revised Paddington-Didcot service, with the 0634 Didcot-Paddington, 0831 Reading-Paddington, 1656 Paddington-Maidenhead, and 1757 Paddington-Reading services replaced by Elizabeth line services.
- London Paddington to Oxford services will call at Didcot Parkway.
- Marlow, Henley, Windsor, and Greenford branch line services will be retimed to provide better connections with mainline services.
- London Paddington to North Cotswolds services will no longer call at Slough off-peak.
South and West Wales:
- There will be 65 additional direct services between Carmarthen and London Paddington, subject to ORR approval, calling at Llanelli, Pembrey and Burry Port.
Responding to changes in demand for leisure travel, the South-West timetable has been revised to provide better support for this important market.
- The 0637 Paddington-Penzance will no longer run.
- The 0545 Paddington-Bristol will be replaced by a new 0600 Paddington-Penzance service via Swindon and Bristol, calling at Plymouth and Penzance.
- Eight weekday services between London Bristol will be extended to Weston-super-Mare and call at Nailsea, Yatton, and Worle.
- An extra 0838 Paddington-Westbury service will run calling at all Kennet Valley stations between Reading and Westbury.
- The 0938 Paddington to Paignton will not stop at stations in the Kennet Valley.
- Extra Saturday Weymouth services will run at 08.09 Gloucester-Weymouth, 08.45 Swindon-Weymouth, 1845 Weymouth-Bristol Temple Meads, and 1940 Weymouth-Swindon.
- There will be an extra service at 2128 from Weymouth to Bristol, Monday to Thursday
- The 1004 Paddington-Penzance service will run non-stop from Reading to Exeter.
- Direct London services to Newquay will run throughout the summer.
- Bristol-Westbury will now be three trains per hour, with the new service being a stopping service. Some services will continue to Salisbury and Southampton.
- Bristol-Gloucester becomes two trains per hour, with on of the services continuing to Worcester.
- Bristol-Weymouth services will be retimed into a regular two-hourly pattern.
GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: “I am really excited to say that this new timetable provides the biggest shake-up in service levels since the introduction of Intercity Express trains – providing more trains where they are needed most and reflecting changes in travel patterns.
“We will deliver more train services, serving even more stations, and providing greater value for money for taxpayers.”