New direct train service to connect Gloucestershire to London
By James Young | 2nd May 2019
It may not be the promised half-hourly direct services to and from the capital, but the introduction of new trains between Gloucestershire and London have been welcomed by two county MPs.
Gloucester MP Richard Graham and his Cheltenham counterpart Alex Chalk say improved rail links between Gloucestershire and London will be of benefit to businesses and commuters.
Great Western Railways have introduced a new mid-morning service that leaves Chetlenham Spa at 9.19 and Gloucester at 9.33 before arriving into London Paddington at 11.32.
A new afternoon service will leave Paddington at 16.36 and arrive into Gloucester at 18.47 and Cheltenham at 19.02.
The extra services were due to be added at the start of 2019 but in an effort to combat the timetabling issues encountered by Network Rail last year, they were delayed.
Richard Graham MP said: "We all hoped the additional half hourly services would be in place in May, but this extra service is an encouraging start, with much more intended by New Year 2020, as a result of work between the two MPs, GWR and the Department for Transport. The key is Network Rail getting timetabling sorted."
Alex Chalk MP added: "It's been a long slog to get to this point, but I'm pleased that the collective efforts of GWR, the MPs and the DfT have got us over the line.
"This improved connectivity will significantly benefit Cheltenham commuters, and enhance Gloucestershire's growing status as the pre-eminent regional centre for cyber-security start-ups."
Direct half-hourly trains between Cheltenham and London, also serving Gloucester, Stonehouse, Stroud and Kemble have been promised as a part of an upgrade package.
The timetable upgrade is now expected to be delivered in December 2019.
Currently there is one direct train per hour, although passengers are able to travel half-hourly albeit with a change in Swindon.
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