Great Western Railway has given advance warning that train services on the Cotswold Line will be altered on a number of weekends and during school holidays later this year, while work takes place to extend platforms at most stations along the route.
The work is being carried out in conjunction with the introduction of GWR's new InterCity Express Trains (IET) to make it easier and faster for passengers to get on and off trains at stations, by ensuring most coaches are alongside platforms and that all cycle storage areas and wheelchair spaces are accessible.
While most Cotswold Line services will in future be operated by five-coach IETs, the busiest services will be formed either of pairs of five-coach IETs coupled together or one of the nine-coach IETs that will start to appear on GWR services this summer.
Network Rail and GWR have developed plans to provide platforms able to accommodate seven of the 26-metre-long IET coaches at Hanborough, Charlbury, Moreton-in-Marsh, Honeybourne, Evesham and Pershore stations.
At Kingham, the existing down side (Worcester-bound) platform is already long enough to accommodate six IET coaches, so the up side (Oxford-bound) platform will be extended to match it.
The weekends and school holiday periods when work on station platforms will be taking place are as follows:
- Saturday Septmber 8 and Sunday September 9
- Saturday September 29 and Sunday September 30
- Saturday October 27 until Sunday November 4 – school half-term holiday
- Saturday November 17 and Sunday November 18
- Saturday December 1 and Sunday December 2
- Saturday December 22 until Thursday December 27 - Christmas holiday
Full details of alterations to train services will be made available by GWR nearer to the time of the work starting.