What was going on when the Severn Tunnel shut?

The Severn Tunnel was closed for six weeks over September and October, the longest period in its 130-year history.

If you were a rail passenger you were very aware of this. It caused significant delays to journeys with London trains being diverted and replacement buses running between Newport and Bristol Parkway. But what people were less aware of was what was happening during the closure. Until now.

Network Rail has released a time lapse video that shows the extent of the upgrade work completed by Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ to prepare the Severn Tunnel for electrification.

The footage features the installation of over eight miles of conductor rail.

An extensive amount of work was also completed to lower the track in the Patchway Tunnels in South Gloucestershire to accommodate the electrification equipment that will power the new fleet of electric trains.

When they are eventually introduced, Network Rail says, it will mean more seats for passengers and faster and more reliable journeys.

Electrification equipment being installed in the Severn Tunnel Credit: Network Rail