The Greater West Electrification

To enable electric trains to run from Bristol to Cardiff, we electrified 77km of the Great Western Railway line on behalf of Network Rail.

Making a significant contribution to Network Rail’s 275km long Greater West Electrification Programme, our expert team designed and constructed over 4,200 masts and booms to hold the 643km of cabling required to electrify the route between Bristol and Cardiff.

Delivering the project to schedule and with minimal disruptions to train services, our teams worked around the clock for almost two and a half years. Many activities took place through the night whilst services were paused, as well as during bank holidays and weekends.

We successfully completed our works in January 2020, a milestone marked by the first electrified train running out of Cardiff Central Station.

Great Western Railway trains between Bristol and Cardiff now use energy efficient electricity instead of diesel, resulting in a more sustainable, quieter and cost-efficient railway.

Technology delivers efficiencies

We employed the latest technology and innovations in design, construction and rail plant to drive efficiencies and enhance safety throughout the project. 

Our team introduced the eviFile system to monitor and manage our quality performance. The platform allowed field engineers to locate their position along the track to ensure installations were carried out as designed and to high levels of quality. The team were also able to quickly search reports using hashtags to save time.

The system was in constant development, resulting in new features being added as potential improvements were identified. This meant that the software was fully optimised and customised for the team.


masts designed and built

Balfour Beatty was chosen because it could deliver a more consistent and cost-effective solution for the client.

Francis Paonessa, Managing Director of Infrastructure Projects, Network Rail