Rail industry’s budget boost sees redoubling of Kemble – Swindon line

A scheme to redouble the Kemble to Swindon main line, which was singled by British Rail in 1968, has been given the go ahead in the Government’s Budget.

Many supporters thought the project to reinstate the second track had been a victim of spending cuts, but were pleasantly surprised to hear that the 12.5 mile bottle neck, that constrains capacity on this popular route, is to be abolished.

This will allow additional trains to be introduced including an hourly, all day, service between Paddington and Cheltenham by 2016. Work on adding the extra track should commence in the near future and be finished by 2014.

The Chancellor also announced that the Ordsall Chord is to be constructed, connecting Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Victoria. This project is part of Network Rail’s £530m Northern Hub proposals and will also aid the regeneration of the area around Victoria.


  1. This has to be an absolute pre-requisite to electrifying to Cardiff, as the latter will mean the Severn Tunnel being out of action for long periods of time. South Wales trains will need to travel via Gloucester when this happens. Quite why it’s taken so long for ‘them’ to realise this beats me. Great news though.


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