Press release

Secretary of State gets driver's eye view of rail modernisation

Stephen Crabb: "Electrification of the line to Swansea is something the Government is absolutely committed to delivering"

The Secretary of State for Wales Stephen Crabb today (Thursday 10 Dec) got a front-row seat as he saw rail modernisation from the driver’s cab of a High Speed train to South Wales.

Stephen Crabb joined the 08.15 from Paddington to Cardiff and spent the journey between the London station and Swindon in the driver’s cab alongside GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood. From the front of the 354-tonne train, Mr Crabb saw the latest resignalling and electrification work on around 80 miles of track together with the latest work on the Crossrail route linking Reading to Shenfield.

Mr Crabb said his one-hour trip in the front of the eight-car GWR High Speed Train had given him “an unmissable view” of rail modernisation.

The Welsh Secretary said:

Like thousands of other passengers, I travel regularly by train between London and South Wales. The route provides a vital link between the growing Welsh cities and the UK’s financial centre.

Electrification of the line to Swansea is something the Government is absolutely committed to delivering. It will improve journey times and increase capacity on this important line.

With Crossrail due to open in 2018, people will soon be able to get from Cardiff to Canary Wharf in around two hours. Those improved connections make Wales an even more attractive place to live and to do business.