Bristol upgrades

We are upgrading the railway in and around Bristol to increase capacity and meet growing demand for rail travel.

Throughout 2018, we are upgrading the railway in Bristol and the surrounding area to enable a significant increase in passenger and freight trains to meet growing demand.

Re-signalling at Bristol Temple Meads over Easter and four-tracking the Filton Bank in the autumn are both needed to support a post-2018 timetable, which will increase trains between Bristol and London, as well as many busy commuter routes.

Bristol Temple Meads station

Re-signalling Bristol Temple Meads and the surrounding area

From Friday 30 March until the early hours of Wednesday 4 April 2018, we will be working at Bristol Temple Meads and the surrounding area, carrying out Network Rail’s largest ever upgrade of signalling equipment.

Around 500 engineers and testers will be working around the clock at the station; bringing the new signalling equipment into service (commissioning).

This will be a major milestone in the Bristol Area Signalling Renewal and Enhancement (BASRE) project, which will bring the following benefits:

  • improved reliability of the signalling system
  • readiness for increase in rail services to meet growing demand
  • enabling Filton Bank 4 Tracking in autumn 2018 (increasing trains and lessening the requirement for maintenance)
  • supporting new post-2018 timetable
  • continuation of the move of signalling from the Bristol Power Signal Box to the new control centre at Didcot Parkway
  • being ready for electrification in the future.

In preparation for the commissioning at Easter, over 100 people worked on site at the station during Christmas and the New Year; replacing and testing signalling equipment. That work will continue up until the main Easter upgrade.

For updates about Bristol Temple Meads, please see our latest station newsletter (PDF).

New Intercity Express Train on extended platform at Bristol Temple Meads
New Intercity Express Train on extended platform – adding capacity at Bristol Temple Meads. The platform extension was carried out over the summer and opened in the autumn 2017.

Travel arrangements 30 March – 3 April

For five days – from Good Friday (30 March) until Tuesday 3 April inclusive – no trains will call between Bristol Temple Meads, Patchway, Bristol Parkway, Bath Spa, Weston-super-Mare or Severn Beach.

Bristol temple meads travel line

Buses will replace trains and some journey times may be longer than normal as a result. Please be aware that Tuesday 3 April is a normal working day and commuters are advised to allow extra travel time and check before you travel at national rail enquiries.

Increasing capacity through Filton Bank

We are working to increase capacity on Filton Bank, laying two new tracks between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood.

The Filton Bank Four-tracking project will:

  • enable a significant increase in the number of passenger trains, helping to meet growing demand
  • enable an increase in freight operations, supporting our economy
  • increase the robustness of the route, reducing disruption as a result of maintenance.

Since September 2015, we have been carrying out a broad range of enabling works along the Filton Bank, and this will continue up until the laying of the new tracks in Autumn 2018. This includes:

  • creation of a fourth platform at Filton Abbey Wood Station
  • six major earthwork sites to create new track bed
  • around 10 miles of plain line track,12 switch and crossings and three miles of track drainage
  • upgrades to six underbridges, a new viaduct at Stapleton Road and improvements to three footbridges
  • repositioning of two GSMR communications masts
  • work on around 30 signalling structures
  • route clearance work at 10 structures.

The project is due to be completed with the laying of the new tracks during a solid 23-day block of 24 hour engineering work in the autumn of 2018.

Further information about this period of engineering work, and alternative travel arrangements, will be published later in 2018.

Bristol Upgrades blogs

Contact us

If you’re interested in finding out more about the upgrades in and around Bristol, visit our City of Bristol page for information about work that is supporting our upgrade. Alternatively contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-Hour National Helpline on 03457 11 41 41.