Great Western Main Line

Electrification of Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Western Railway of 1835-41, stretching from Paddington to Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford and Newbury is one of the UK’s largest infrastructure projects.

The challenge of installing electrification equipment on Brunel’s bridges, tunnels, viaducts required a comprehensive understanding and assessment of the of the route’s historic structures. We are Network Rail’s heritage advisor for the project and produced a gazetteer of over 600 structures on the route to inform the listing review by led by English Heritage. The partnership between Network Rail, English Heritage, and ourselves has underpinned the entire process of identification of significance, a listing review, and public consultation. This has provided Network Rail with the clarity necessary to proceed with planning the ambitious project.

We are also providing design and engineering advice to Network Rail to help identify intelligent and sympathetic solutions for installing electrification equipment on Brunel’s structures, and along the line through the Bath World Heritage Site.