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 150 years ago. Modernising the route will improve the experience of everyone who uses it and stimulate economic growth in the South West and beyond.

Important information – COVID-19

All planned work is being reassessed and reviewed as the we go through the current pandemic. Essential maintenance projects are being prioritised and keeping our workers and local communities safe is of paramount importance. We are following Government guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

Bristol Temple Meads

Around 10 million passengers pass through Bristol Temple Meads each year. We are upgrading the station to meet growing demand and improve the customer experience.

Refurbishing the roof

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees joined Network Rail, GWR and Taziker to celebrate the contract signing.

Work to fully refurbish the fabulous Victorian roof at Bristol Temple Meads is due to start in December 2020 and we have just appointed our lead contractor (Taziker) to carry out the work.

As well as refreshing the roof for a cleaner, brighter experience for passengers, work on the Grade I listed structure will protect it from further deterioration for future generations.

It will involve extensive metal and woodwork repairs and the complete re-glazing of the roof and platform canopies, as well as roofing over Bonaparte’s Alley and canopies in the forecourt. The old paint will be grit blasted and refreshed with a new colour scheme.

To make this possible, a huge scaffolding structure will be set up inside the station at the end of 2020, with a false ceiling installed as a safety screen to allow the work to take place above. This will be the first major refurbishment of the station roof in over 25 years; due for completion in 2023.

Read our news story about the Bristol Temple Meads restoration project.

Other station improvements

Cycle parking on platforms 3 and 4 is being removed from Sunday 6 September, to allow for renovations and for station security.

All cycle parking on Station Approach will remain and a new facility is being built on Friary. Holding more than 450 bikes it will be covered, lit and protected by CCTV and is due to open on Saturday 5 September.

Download our new cycle parking map poster.

Download our changes to cycle parking information pack.

Any bikes left on the station platform will be moved to a secure location on Sunday 6 September. If your bike is among those moved, please contact a member of station staff by Friday 6 November.


From the summer of 2020 until early spring 2022, we will be rewiring Bristol Temple Meads station, to bring it up to modern standards.

This will improve the stability of the power supply at the station and allow for future expansion. One key element of the work is the separation into three independent supplies to improve capacity and resilience.

During 2021 we will be installing a free station WiFi network at Bristol Temple Meads, offering passengers fast, free and reliable internet connectivity within the station area.

The installation will take a few months to complete, working alongside teams doing the station rewire.

The intention is to launch the new service in the summer of 2021. For more information about the programme, go to our Digital Station Programme web page. 

Over the past couple of years we have successfully upgraded signalling in and around Bristol Temple Meads, at Bristol Parkway and further afield. This involved replacing outdated 1970s technology with state of the art systems to improve the reliability of our infrastructure.

Alongside other capacity improvement projects in the area, these signalling upgrades are bringing greater flexibility and resilience to the network.

For more information about signalling upgrade work, visit #signalbristol on our twitter feed.

Eastern entrance

A new entrance is being planned for Bristol Temple Meads, to offer access to the new university campus and the east of the city.

The intention is to break through the end of the existing subway between the staircases to platforms 13 and 15 and install a new external entrance building that will include a set of ticket gates.

There are a lot of details to work through but we aim to extend the subway and break through during our work to renew Bristol East Junction in summer 2021. It will all remain behind hoardings while the external building is constructed and fit out is completed.

The goal is to complete the eastern entrance by September 2022 with formal opening in conjunction with that of the new university campus.

Eastern entrance exterior view – initial design concept may be subject to change
Eastern entrance interior view – initial design concept may be subject to change

At the end of 2018 we installed two new sets of ticket gates at Bristol Temple Meads, more than doubling capacity at the station.

14 new gates for entry and exit – including wide aisle gates for improved accessibility – are located at Bonaparte’s Alley and Queen Anne Gate. They have significantly improved the flow of passengers entering and exiting the station at peak travel times. They are open Monday to Friday, 07.00 – 10.00 and 16.00 – 19.00.

Bristol East Junction

This summer we are continuing with preparations for the remodelling of Bristol East Junction, just outside Bristol Temple Meads. Throughout July, August and September we will be:

  • Delivering and positioning new rail ahead of autumn track work
  • Dismantling an old substation and relay room (next to Dings Park)
  • Foundation work (piling)
  • Relocating signals

We will be working on the below dates and times when trains aren’t operating, so our teams can work safely, but please be aware these dates may change:

Type of workDates and times
Drop and position railSaturday nights: 4 July, 11 July and 18 July, between the hours of 11:20pm and 9:30am
Dismantling of substationMonday 6 July to Thursday 9 July between the hours of 10pm to 8am
Foundation work – will be noisyBetween the hours of 10pm to 8am on both Saturday 11 July and Saturday 18 July
Signal movesWork will start at 10pm on Saturday 22 August and will finish at 2pm on Sunday 23 August

This will be followed by two solid weekends of track work:

Autumn track work: 52-hour continuous working

  • Saturday 26 September through to Monday 28 September (1:30am Saturday – 4am Monday)
  • Saturday 24 October through to Monday 26 October (1am Saturday – 5am Monday)

The full remodelling of the junction is due to take place in Summer 2021, with the new layout set to bring increased operational flexibility in getting trains in and out of Bristol Temple Meads and enabling an increase in capacity. Replacing old track with new will also bring improved reliability – another benefit for passengers.

For updates, keep an eye on #bristolrailupgrade on our Twitter feed.

Filton Bank Four Tracking

Having successfully launched our two new railway lines between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood station in the autumn of 2018, we are already seeing significant benefits for passengers, through increased reliability and resilience.

Since bringing the lines into operational use we have been going through a programme of finishing work, reinforcing embankments, reprofiling the ballast (stones) and improving drainage.

Over weekends in late April and early May, we completed further work on drainage around Filton Abbey Wood and in the Horfield/Lockleaze areas of Bristol, between Bonnington Walk and Constable Road.

For an overview of work completed throughout the programme, view #bristolrailupgrade on our Twitter feed.

Bristol Portway station

Plans for a proposed new railway station for the Severn Beach line, between Shirehampton and Avonmouth stations, are moving forward.

The station will be built by Network Rail on behalf of Bristol City Council, on land adjacent to the existing Portway park and ride site off the A4.

Funding for the scheme has been secured and plans are in development with the aim of starting work on site at the end of 2020 and completion in 2021.

The station is being jointly funded by Bristol City Council, the West of England Combined Authority and the Department for Transport.

After planning permission was granted in March 2019, it is set to become the first new station built in the wider Bristol area since Filton Abbey Wood in 1996. This scheme forms part of the West of England’s wider MetroWest programme. For more information, visit the MetroWest website.