DEVIZES MP Claire Perry was joined by youngsters from a village school on Friday to celebrate the introduction of new trains on the Bedwyn to Paddington route.

Ms Perry, who last week announced she was taking a break from her ministerial duties due to a family illness,

was delighted to mark the new Intercity Express trains by taking a special trip.

The group boarded the celebration train at Bedwyn Station at 10.19am as it finished its journey from Paddington as it terminated in the village.

They were then allowed to make a special trip to the siding which was lengthened to accommodate the new trains.

Passengers are not normally permitted on the train when it manoeuvres to the siding but special dispensation was given.

The service then became the 10:41 to Newbury, where the party will alighted and crossed the bridge to return to Bedwyn on the 11.08am – arriving at Bedwyn 11. 26am.

Ms Perry was also joined by Mark Hopwood, managing director of GWR. The new bi-modal Inter City Express Trains are replacing the 165/166 diesel multiple units and will be powered by diesel between Bedwyn and Newbury, switching to electric from Newbury to Paddington.

Ms Perry said this followed her campaign together with the Bedwyn Trains Passengers Group to secure the bi-mode trains to enable the continuation of through services between Bedwyn and Paddington.

There had been worries that the decision to electrify the line to Newbury only, may have resulted in Bedwyn, Hungerford and Kintbury being served by a diesel shuttle which would have put paid to the through trains upon which many local people and businesses said they relied.