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.

The re-signalling completed at Bristol Temple Meads over Easter and four-tracking the Filton Bank this winter are both needed to increase trains between Bristol and London, as well as many busy commuter routes.

Bristol Temple Meads station

Electrification of Patchway Tunnels

Following on from our electrification work between Bristol Parkway station and the Severn Tunnel in the summer, we returned over Christmas to continue our work.

From the evening of 24 December until the early hours of 2 January, we install more wiring along this section of the route, including open sections through the Patchway, Cattybrook and Pilning areas as well as through the tunnels. We also carried out repairs to drainage inside the Patchway Tunnels.

For more information, see our latest fact sheet.

To find out more about the work completed over the summer via our Twitter feed: #SummerTunnels

Live projects

Increasing capacity through Filton Bank

We are working to double capacity on the Filton Bank between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood, in preparation for an increase in trains from 2019. This includes a 3-week block of 24/7 upgrade work in October and November. Buses will replace trains in the area and some services will be diverted.

Filton Bank - Overview factsheet

Bristol Parkway station

This year we are finishing the electrification of the railway from London to Bristol Parkway.

From Saturday 15 September to Sunday 7 October we worked around the clock to install any remaining foundations (piling) for the electrification equipment, and putting up masts, gantries and overhead wires. For more information, visit our South Gloucestershire page.

Past projects

Signalling upgrade in around Bristol Temple Meads

Network Rail successfully completed its biggest ever signalling upgrade in and around Bristol Temple Meads over Easter. From Friday 30 March to Tuesday 3 April more than 500 people worked around 27,000 hours; to take out the old signalling equipment and install, test and activate a brand new system. Rail replacement bus services kept Bristol moving throughout the work – including on Tuesday 3 April, when many people returned to work after the bank holiday weekend.

Control of the signalling for the area was also successfully transferred from the 1970s technology of the Bristol Signal Box to the state of the art Thames Valley Signalling Control centre near Didcot.

The upgrade will improve the reliability of Network Rail’s infrastructure and enable an increase in trains from 2019 – including more services between Bristol and London. 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.

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.

Filton Bank blogs

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.