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  • Electrification of the Great Western Main Line at Melksham. Providing electricity for the railway line between London and Cardiff.
    • Project description

    • Network Rail is electrifying the Great Western Main Line railway to deliver more reliable, greener and quieter journeys for passengers. It will electrify the railway between London and Bristol, including Newbury and Oxford, by 2016 and to Cardiff by 2017. For more information, visit Network Rail’s website:

      Our role

      National Grid’s role is to connect the railway with the national electricity network. One of the locations where this needs to be done is Melksham.

      The Melksham site

      To make the connection in Melksham, we will use 25kV underground cables to carry the electricity. Two lines of cables will run from the existing National Grid substation off Westlands Lane and connect to the railway further north at Thingley Junction.

      Building the connection

      The connection will take around a year to install and work will be carried out in sections. The cables will be laid down into trenches within a working area about 20m wide. To go under streams along the route, the cables will be drilled horizontally underground as a small tunnel, rather than laid into trenches. When the work is complete, we’ll return the land to how it looked before.

      Our commitment to local people

      As we build the connection, we’ll work to have as little effect as possible on residents, businesses and road users in the area. We’re also working closely with people whose land is crossed by the cables.

      We will:

      • consider residents, businesses and road users
      • manage traffic with traffic lights, keeping one lane open at all times, to keep disruption as low as possible
      • keep footpaths open wherever possible, including rights of way, as we cross farmland. If we do need to close the paths temporarily, we’ll keep people updated and diversions will be in place
      • keep people informed as the project progresses


      Considering the local environment

      Over the last year, we’ve carried out several environmental and archaeological surveys in the area to ensure our connection is as sensitive as possible to wildlife and the landscape.

    • Latest update

    • Work began in 2014 and we've now finished installing the two cables.

      We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we’ve been doing this work.

      In summer 2016, we’ll carry out some minor tests and inspect the new underground connection. This should not cause any disruptions to local communities.

      Network Rail is still working on the railway line so should you need to contact them with any enquiries, please call 03457 114 141.

      For further details, please download our Melksham GWM frequently asked questionspdf icon.

    • Project Contact Details

    • 0800 988 9147, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday