City of Bristol

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

Christmas signalling work

This Christmas we are carrying out further signalling work at Bristol Temple Meads as part of our preparations for a major upgrade next Easter. While train services are not running at the station, a team of around 100 engineers and signal testers will be working day and night to test new equipment that is coming into service in April 2018.

From 2345hrs on Saturday 23 December until 0500hrs on Wednesday 27 December they will:

  • replace signalling equipment on the East gantry
  • test 113 complex and interlocked parts of the signalling system
  • install new signalling equipment on the gantries on the east and west approaches to Bristol Temple Meads.

Easter 2018

Our re-signalling next Easter is the largest re-signalling project ever undertaken by Network Rail and will:

  • help to ensure the continued safe operation of the railway
  • improve reliability
  • enable a significant increase in rail services to meet growing demand
  • prepare for a new post-2018 timetable.

During the Easter 2018 upgrade, no trains will call at Bristol Temple Meads from Friday 30 March (Good Friday) until service is restored on the morning of Wednesday 4 April.

Buses will replace trains and some journey times may be longer than normal as a result. Further information will follow early in the new year.

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 is underway 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 January 2018 – soil nailing, Narroways cutting
  • October to May 2018 – piling and soil nailing, Ashley Hill South
  • December 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 successfully demolished Narroways footbridge and installed a new one in its place. The new footbridge is due to open in February 2018.

Christmas working near Station Lane, Ashley Hill

From 23:00hrs on Sunday 24 December, until 05:00hrs on Wednesday 27 December, we will be working around the clock on a section of track between Station Lane and Muller Road.

As trains will not be running during this period we are taking the opportunity to install an under-track crossing (UTX) under the operational railway lines and under the haul road where the track bed for the two new railway lines will be installed next year.

The UTX is essentially a pipe that will provide a route underneath the railway line for power cables and other essential services.

For more information about our work in this area, view the documents below.

Easton Road

Following demolition and reconstruction works at Easton Road bridge, we are returning this autumn to complete our work. Easton Road bridge factsheet.

This involves:

  • 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.

Muller Road

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.

Horfield Cutting

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

On the weekend of 18/19 November we completed essential improvements to the drainage system (culvert) running under the tracks adjacent to Masefield Way in Horfield. This involved diverting the existing drain which was severely damaged, and installing a new one.

View Masefield way residents letter

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.

Find out more on our South Gloucestershire page.

Last updated 21 December 2017. This page will be updated regularly.