Travel warning: Great Western Railway passengers are again urged to travel early

Great Western Railway is warning of significant disruption today and advises those planning to travel to check their journeys beforehand and travel as early as possible.  

Currently, there is only one route to the west from Paddington with flooding blocking direct services to South Wales and Devon and Cornwall. 

Additionally, a serious incident near Reading last night where police closed the railway until the early hours of this morning has left trains and crew in the wrong place for the start of service, which alongside the flooding, continues to hamper the operator’s ability to run trains. 

A spokesperson for Great Western Railway said: 

“We’re sorry for the disruption customers are experiencing, especially those caught up yesterday evening after a person was sadly hit by a train near Reading. 

“Police dealing with the incident took control of the line, which meant we couldn’t run trains through the affected area until it was returned earlier this morning. This is unfortunately having a significant impact today.” 

To help customers make their journey, those with tickets for Thursday 4 and Friday 5 January can travel up to and including Saturday 6 January. 

Due to the flooding a significantly reduced level of service can only be provided and will be subject to further short-notice cancellations throughout the day. Customers are advised to travel as early as possible or consider delaying their journey. 

Localised flooding means the line is closed between: 

  • Reading and Taunton 
  • Swindon and Bristol Parkway 

With fewer trains able to operate those that can will be very busy. GWR expects to be able to operate a train an hour on the following routes, between: 

  • London Paddington and Weston-Super-Mare via Bristol Temple Meads 
  • London Paddington and Swansea (via Bristol Temple Meads) 
  • London Paddington and Plymouth/Penzance 

Services between London Paddington and the North Cotswolds (via Oxford), and the South Cotswolds continue to operate but could be reduced due to the disruption caused by flooding elsewhere. Services in London and the Thames Valley continue to operate, however, flooding at Didcot station is preventing some services from being able to stop there. 

If you’ve been affected by delays, you can find out more about claiming compensation at GWR.com/delayrepay. 

Customers who purchased tickets but do not travel can claim a full refund or amend their ticket. Those who travel and are delayed may be entitled to  Delay Repay compensation if delayed by 15 minutes or more. 

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