Balfour Beatty successfully electrifies rail lines between Bristol and Cardiff

This week, Balfour Beatty, working on behalf of Network Rail, successfully completed the electrification of 77 kilometres of the Great Western Railway (GWR) line between Bristol and Cardiff; a significant contribution to Network Rail’s overall Greater West Electrification Programme to electrify 275 kilometres of train line between Cardiff and London.

In order to deliver the works on time, over 750 Balfour Beatty operatives undertook complex works over the Christmas period, completing the final installation of the overhead cables at Cardiff Central Station, marking the completion of over 4,200 masts and booms, responsible for holding the 643 kilometres of electric cabling associated with the 77 kilometres section of route.

This milestone was marked with the first electrified train running out of Cardiff Central Station on January 6, 2020.

Mick Rayner, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty’s Rail business, said “We are proud to have successfully delivered part of the largest modernization project on the Great Western Railway which we been working on for the past three years. Delivering this important upgrade to the Welsh rail network will provide a more sustainable way of travelling for tens of thousands of commuters”.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s Managing Director for Wales and Western said: “I am delighted that services can now run on electricity between Bristol and Cardiff, linking the two capital cities for the very first time via an electric railway. This is the culmination of the largest modernisation project on the Great Western railway since it was built in Victorian times, which we have been working on over the last 10 years.”

Image: First electric train from Cardiff to London – Balfour Beatty