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Rail staff due to start industrial action

Credit: ITV West Country

Signalling staff are due to start industrial action today in a dispute over the dismissal of a colleague in Swindon.

Signalmen at Swindon A and Thames Valley Signalling Centres are refusing to work any overtime for two weeks.

Network Rail say they are taking steps to reduce the impact on services and are continuing to negotiate with the RMT union.

WATCH: Beautiful timelapse of Bath railway being transformed

The 'orange army' is almost halfway to getting Bath's railway ready for electrification. Credit: Network Rail

The 'orange army' is almost halfway to getting Bath's railway ready for electrification.

The track is being lowered through the area's historic Dundas Aqueduct to protect Bath’s architecture, and make room for overhead lines to power faster electric trains.

The line is expected to reopen on September 1st.

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After the storm: Timelapse of Dawlish repairs finally ending

Job Done: the Orange Army signs off on the repaired railway at Dawlish. Credit: Simon Deane

Over the last few weeks the 'orange army' completed the final milestone in their 18-month project to repair Dawlish's railway line; rebuild and strengthen the sea wall; and carry out cliff stabilisation work at Teignmouth, to prevent any future extreme weather causing the level of damage that occurred last year.

This means for the first time, the full length of the walkway from Dawlish Warren to Teignmouth can be used in both low and high tide.

We've now completed the final stage of our work to rebuild the railway line through Dawlish and improve the area's resilience.

This is a significant milestone in the town's history and so it seems only right we share it with the local community, which is why we have organised this event.

It is also very important to us to be able to thank residents for their patience and support throughout what has been a very complex, multi-site and multi-faceted project.

– Sophie Young, Network Rail's scheme project manager

While Network Rail's work to repair the damage in Dawlish is now complete, the company is continuing its work to secure the future of the railway line between Exeter and Newton Abbot.

Bank holiday rail strike called off

First Great Western expects to run its full advertised timetable. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The planned rail strike on bank holiday Monday has been cancelled after the TSSA and RMT unions received a new pay offer from Network Rail.

The industrial action has been called off pending the outcome of a meeting with Network Rail representatives next week.

Rail strike affecting bank holiday weekend

Rail workers have voted for industrial action. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

There is to be a rail strike during the bank holiday weekend - Network Rail employees in the RMT and TSSA unions have voted for industrial action in a dispute over pay, affecting services on bank holiday Monday (25 May), as well as Tuesday 26 May and the morning of Wednesday 27 May.

First Great Western say refunds are available for customers who have already bought tickets during the strike period, and those with tickets for travel on Monday and Tuesday may also be use them on Sunday Wednesday.

They hope to operate the following services in our region:

  • Paddington – Bristol Temple Meads, calling at Reading Didcot, Swindon, Chippenham, Bath and Bristol, extended to Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton during peak: Hourly
  • Swindon – Bristol, calling at Chippenham, Bath Spa, Oldfield Park, Keynsham, Bristol Temple Meads: Hourly
  • Bristol Parkway – Weston-Super-Mare, calling at Filton, Stapleton Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol Temple Meads, Bedminster, Parson St, Nailsea and Backwell, Yatton, Worle, Weston Milton and Weston-Super-Mare: Hourly
  • Cardiff – Taunton, calling at Newport, Severn Tunnel Juncton, Patchway, Filton Abbey Wood, Bristol Temple Meads, Nailsea, Yatton, Worle, Weston-Super-Mare, Highbridge, Bridgwater and Taunton: Hourly
  • Paddington – Plymouth, calling at Reading, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Taunton, Tiverton, Exeter, Dawlish, Teignmouth, Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ivybridge (select trains only) and Plymouth: Hourly

The following services will not be running in our region from 00:01 Monday 25 May, and will be in delays on the Wednesday morning:

  • Between Swindon and Gloucester/Cheltenham
  • Between Bath Spa and Portsmouth Harbour
  • Between Reading and Taunton
  • On Severn Beach branch line
  • North Cotswolds line, from Oxford and calling at Worcester and Hereford

Easter travel disruption latest: 'Plans in place' to get you home

Train services have been disrupted over the long weekend due to engineering works. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rail companies say they've prepared contingency plans to make sure passengers get home if weekend engineering works overrun.

Services across the west country have been disrupted over Easter because of work taking place further up the line at Reading. Network Rail has promised to prevent a repeat of the chaos that happened over Christmas.

It's a real consideration, and we've been working closely with Network Rail to ensure that there are contingency plans in place should that happen. We'll be letting people know as soon as we know if there's a problem, but at the moment everything is running to time.

– Dan Panes, First Great Western
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