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: www.networkrail.co.uk/greatwesternelectrification.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 questions.