We're modernising the Great Western route, increasing capacity for passengers and freight.
This is the biggest investment in the Great Western railway since Brunel built it more than 175 years ago. Modernising the route will improve the experience of everyone who uses it and stimulate economic growth in the South West and beyond.
This page explains the work we’re doing in the city of Bristol area and when it's due to take place. Electrification in the area has been deferred until the next control period (CP6), which runs from 2019 to 2024.
Bristol Temple Meads
Work to extend platforms 13 and 15 at Bristol Temple Meads was successfully completed this autumn, following demolition and reconstruction work over the summer.
An extra 20 metres of platform has been added to accommodate the new 10-car Intercity Express Trains that are now calling at the station.
Major signalling upgrade:
Bristol Temple Meads will see our largest ever renewal of signalling equipment at in the spring. This will help improve reliability and prepare for a significant increase in rail services and a new post-2018 timetable.
Lots of work is already underway and rehearsals of the new signalling equipment will take place in early autumn, continuing over the Christmas period, to test the systems before they are brought into service in April 2018.
The scale of the upgrade next Easter means a full five-day period of working around the clock between 30 March and 3 April. Trains will be diverted and replacement bus services set up. These are currently being planned and further details will be widely publicised in the near future.
For updates about Bristol Temple Meads, please see our latest station newsletter (PDF)
Filton Bank Four Tracking
We are carrying out extensive works between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway, to double the number of railway lines. This will enable an increase in train services and reduce disruption from maintenance.
Ashley Hill and Narroways
An extensive programme of earthworks has begun at Ashley Hill and Narroways, stabilising the embankments in preparation for two new lines as part of our Filton Bank Four Tracking project.
These works started in July 2017 and will run 7 days a week until December 2018. Key dates for the project are as follows:
- August to end October 2017 – soil nailing, Narroways cutting
- October to May 2018 – piling and soil nailing, Ashley Hill South
- August to November 2017 – breaking out abutment of Narroways footbridge
- 18-19 November 2017 - working 24/7 to remove and replace Narroways footbridge (opens February 2018)
- November 2017 to April 2018 – piling and soil nailing, Ashley Hill North.
These works will mainly take place in daytime hours (7.30am to 6.00pm), however there will be exceptions, with some overnight working required. On the weekend of 18 and 19 November we will be working 24/7 to remove and replace the Narroways footbridge. As a result of this as well as other works along the line, buses will replace trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway during this weekend. Please check before you travel at National Rail Enquiries.
To find out more, view the documents below.
Following demolition and reconstruction works at Easton Road bridge, we are returning this autumn to complete our work. Easton Road bridge factsheet.
- Removal of concrete barriers
- Excavation and construction of foundations for wall
- Wall construction
- Waterproofing works
- Construction of boundary fencing.
Temporary lane closures will be put in place to manage the flow of traffic to ensure the safety of our construction team.
We are writing to residents in the area with updates on our work.
Come and talk to us
We are holding a community information event on Wednesday 15 November, from 4.30pm to 7.00pm at:
Easton Community Centre
Bristol, BS5 6AW
Muller Road overbridge: Strengthening works on Muller Road bridge are progressing, in preparation for its return to use. Scaffolding from the road has now been removed and we are carrying out improvements, such as waterproofing, above the bridge.
Muller Road Road Rail Access Point: We are continuing with improvements to our access point next to Trust Ford Accident Repair Centre. Parking restrictions on Petherbridge Way remain in place until the end of 2017.
Stapleton Road viaduct
Having reached the end of its life, Stapleton Road viaduct was demolished during the summer, between 28 July and 14 August.
This involved sawing through the steel structure to remove it in three sections.
Watch our short time lapse video of the demolition:
Now we are carrying out enabling work to prepare for the installation of the new viaduct next year. This involves general site activities over the coming months, including completing ground investigations and excavations.
From early November 2017, we will be piling in Fox Park. This will be taking place during daytime hours, Monday to Friday, and is scheduled to finish in January 2018.
The new viaduct is due to be installed in June 2018.
Following the installation, we will be focusing on the track formation work over the viaduct, before connecting up the drainage and completing all finishing works in the autumn of 2018. Fox Park will be fully reinstated upon completion of the project, with the footpath and cycle path reopened.
We have been carrying extensive earthworks at Horfield Cutting, running from the south of Bonnington Walk bridge to Filton Abbey Wood station. These have been substantially completed and are now moving into the next phase of work.
The main excavation for the new track formation and drainage works are now underway and are due to be completed by 1 February 2018.
Work patterns are as follows:
- Track formation excavation - weekend nights
- Drainage enabling works, weekend nights
- Drainage works, daytime, midweek and weekend nights
General daytime working hours are 8am to 6pm, with weekend daytime shifts running between 8am and 5pm. Overnight shifts are 10pm to 8am.
Masefield Way, Horfield
In November we need to carry out crucial works to improve the drainage system (culvert) running under the tracks adjacent to Masefield Way in Horfield. This will involve diverting the existing drain which is severely damaged, and installing a new one.
While we are aiming to mainly access the site via rail, we are having to open up a temporary access point from Masefield Way to allow access for plant including concrete pumps, wagons, excavators and material wagons. Parking restrictions are being put in place for the duration of these works.
Works will take place over a two-week period from Monday 13 November to Friday 24 November, with the bulk of the work during a solid weekend; from 22:00 on Friday 17 November to 08:00 on Monday 20 November, when no trains will be running.
The full overview of the works schedule is as follows:
- Monday 13 – Friday 17 November: Daytime culvert diversion works (08:00 to 18:00)
- Friday 17 – Monday 20 November: 24/7 construction of new culvert (22:00 Friday to 08:00 Monday)*
- Monday 20 – Friday 24 November: Daytime completion works (08:00 to 18:00)
- Monday 20 – Friday 24 November: Night time follow up tamping if required. (23.00 – 08.00)
*Due to the close proximity to the railway, we need to divert the culvert overnight when no trains are running for health and safety reasons.
Filton Abbey Wood station
A fourth platform will be built at Filton Abbey Wood station with ramped access to the existing footbridge. In order to support the embankment, a retaining wall will be built between the new platform and the residential area that backs onto the railway. This phase of the work is under way. Our teams will return next year to extend the three existing platforms and lay the new track.
To carry out engineering work safely, we have closed the footpath that links the car park in Emma-Chris Way to the station footbridge until Autumn 2017. A signed diversionary route is in place.
Last updated 07 November 2017. This page will be updated regularly.