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  1. Nick Powell

Great Western electrification "top priority"

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has told MPs that the electrification of the Great Western main line will be prioritised over other projects in the midlands and north of England as part of a crackdown on delays and rising costs at Network Rail. The state-owned company which controls the railway tracks is due to electrify the line from London to Swansea.

Electrification of the Great Western Line is a top priority and I want Network Rail to concentrate its efforts on getting that right.

On the Midland mainline better services can be delivered on that line before electrification. With things such as speed improvement works. So work on electrification will be paused.

The next franchise for the Transpennine route between Leeds and Manchester will bring modern trains and additional capacity. Current work on electrification will be paused because we need to be much more ambitious for that route.

– Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP

The minister told Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Edwards that the government remained committed to electrifying through to Swansea on schedule, though he couldn't confirm that meant by 2018. He did not mention the electrification of the Valley Lines, which will largely be funded through the Welsh Government.

Trains: South Wales - Paddington

There's disruption on First Great Western services between South Wales and London Paddington because of a signalling problem at Slough.

London Underground are accepting tickets for reasonable routes.

Tickets being accepted on via reasonable routes on other National Rail operator services.

Passengers are advised not to attempt to travel via this route. Disruption is likely to continue until around 10:00am.


First Great Western franchise extended

The franchise will run until September 2015 Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

First Great Western, which runs services between South Wales and London, is promising improvements after it was given a 23-month extension to its franchise.

The UK Government says it'll carry on running the Great Western main line until September 2015 before bidding starts for a new long-term franchise.

Greater wifi coverage and additional sleep carriages are among the improvements announced.


  1. Meridian

Half of FGW train passengers ignore announcements

First Great Western train gets ready to leave station Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

First Great Western have decided to reduced the number of announcements made on train journeys, following pressure from passengers. Research carried out by the train provider found, half of passengers don't listen to them.

First Great Western 'disappointed' at planned strike

A spokesperson for First Great Western says the company is 'extremely disappointed' that union workers are planning industrial action later this morning.

Even though the strike action is going ahead, we are planning to run a normal service on Friday and Saturday to make sure that our customers are unaffected by this action.

– First Great Western spokesperson

The planned industrial action follows a dispute over a colleague's dismissal from the company.

Swansea train managers plan 24-hour strike

Credit: David Davies/PA

Swansea train managers are due to stage a 24-hour strike later this morning over what they claim is the unfair dismissal of a colleague.

Transport union RMT says the former First Great Western train manager was sacked following an incident that took place when he was off-duty, despite '30 years of unblemished service'.

RMT says First Great Western's response was 'draconian' and 'over the top' - but the company says the former employee's behaviour was 'unacceptable'.

First Great Western says services will not be affected by the planned industrial action.

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