We're modernising the Great Western route to bring passengers faster, more frequent, more reliable services.

The project includes upgrading our infrastructure so that the route can be electrified.

This page explains the work we'll be doing in South Gloucestershire and when it's due to take place.

The following time-lapse film below shows two 44m booms being installed just outside Bristol Parkway station as part of our electrification of the Great Western Main Line. They support the wires that power GWR’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains.

Bristol Parkway to South Wales

Trains are now running under electric power between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, following the completion of overhead line equipment between Swindon and Bristol Parkway in December 2018.

We are now working to complete the section between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff, with the main focus in south Wales.

As a result of this work, buses will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Cardiff Central on the following dates:

  • Sunday 25 August (until 14:00, when coaches replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport instead)
  • Sunday 8 September (until 14:00)
  • Sunday 22 September (until 14.00)
  • Sunday 29 September (until 14.00)
  • Sunday 13 October (until 14.00)
  • Sunday 20 October (until 14.00)

Trains will run between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, then restart from Cardiff Central (or from Newport after 14.00 on Sunday 25 August).

Trains will also run between Portsmouth Harbour and Bristol Parkway as well as between Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads.

Connecting coaches will replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Bridgend on:

•             Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September

On these dates, trains will run between London Paddington and Bristol Parkway, then restart from Bridgend.

Please check before you travel by visiting National Rail Enquiries' website or GWR's website.

Severn Beach line work this summer

We are carrying out work on the Severn Beach line in the Avonmouth and Clifton Down areas this summer.

This involves removing a set of redundant points, renewing Avonmouth dock level crossing and installing new track between St Andrew’s Road level crossing and Avonmouth Station.

The work is being completed over a mixture of weekday nights, Saturday nights and Sunday daytime shifts during July and August with some follow up work into September.

Visit our city of Bristol page where you can find more information about the works, including dates for drop in sessions either in Avonmouth or Clifton Down and a factsheet.

Gipsy Patch Lane bridge

Network Rail, South Gloucestershire Council and Alun Griffiths Contractors are working together to replace the rail-over-road bridge at Gipsy Patch Lane, Stoke Gifford. 

The replacement of the bridge is part of a wider scheme called the Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension that South Gloucestershire is delivering.  The new bridge will be much wider than the existing bridge in order to remove the current highway pinchpoint and it is programmed to be replaced during Easter 2020.

The construction work will include both full and partial closures to Gipsy Patch Lane, including an approximate eight-month closure of the road from early 2020 to enable the replacement of the railway bridge. Further information can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/CPmetrobus

Patchway station footbridge

The new footbridge at Patchway station came into use in July and the lifts will come into operation later this year.

Filton Bank Four-tracking

Following the successful opening of our two new railway lines through Bristol and South Gloucestershire, and the creation of our new platform at Filton Abbey Wood station, we are already seeing significant benefits for passengers; through increased reliability and resilience.

The Filton Bank Four-tracking upgrade also brings greater capacity for the network, enabling an increase in trains and paving the way for the potential future expansion of the rail network through Bristol and the surrounding area.

We are now working through a programme of essential finishing work which includes:

  • drainage work around Filton Abbey Wood station
  • packing and moving ballast (track stones) along the route to ensure the best possible stability.
  • installation of concrete troughs along the trackside for cabling.

For more information about the Filton Bank Four-tracking project, please see our City of Bristol page or our #bristolrailupgrade Twitter feed.

Working responsibly

We know that our work to improve the railway may cause some disruption and noise for local communities. We do our very best to limit this and appreciate your patience and understanding.

For example, we often have to carry out some of the work at night when trains aren’t running. This is because we’re contractually obliged to work at times that have the least impact on passenger services, and because we must ensure the safety of our workforce.

If roads or footpaths need to be closed temporarily because of bridge work, we agree diversionary routes with the local council. And we are committed to completing the work quickly, so the road can be re-opened as soon as possible.