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

This page explains the work we'll be doing in South Gloucestershire and when it's due to take place. Download the Autumn 2019 factsheet.

We have been working on electrifying the route between London Paddington and Cardiff, via Bristol Parkway.

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

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.

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

Gipsy Patch Lane bridge

As part of South Gloucestershire Council’s Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension scheme, the rail-over-road bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane, Stoke Gifford, is to be replaced.

Network Rail, working with Alun Griffiths contractors, is delivering this project on behalf of the Council. The new bridge will be much wider, removing the current highway pinch point, and will be installed during Easter 2020.

A mixture of full and partial closures of Gipsy Patch Lane are necessary throughout the life of this project, including an eight month full closure starting in early 2020.

This full closure is required to re-profile the road and complete the remaining service diversions.

The next stage of preparations gets underway this autumn. This will include approximately three months of piling, to install the foundations for the four corners of the new bridge.

Piling is a noisy process so the majority of this work will take place during daytime hours; between 07:30 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. However, a number of overnight shifts will be necessary over the course of the three months. Any weekend work required will take place between 08:00 and 13:00.

Further details will be provided nearer the time. In the meantime, more information can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/CPmetrobus

Stoke Gifford signalling and drainage work

The introduction of the new timetable in December will bring a significant increase in train services to meet growing demand – the biggest change since 1976.

To achieve this we need to complete further upgrades to signalling around Bristol Parkway Station. This will improve operational flexibility, enabling us to make best use of platforms at Bristol Parkway and Filton Abbey Wood stations.

Over two consecutive weekends we will be removing old signals in the Stoke Gifford area, modifying a large gantry next to Bristol Parkway Station, and testing and activating new signals and other maintenance devices. We will also be carrying out essential drainage improvements at Stoke Gifford yard.

Work will take place as follows:

  • 00:30 Saturday 26 October – 03:30 Monday 28 October
  • 00:01 Sunday 3 November – 03:20 Monday 4 November

Work will be noisy at times – particularly the drainage work which will involve lifting and relaying a section of track. A range of heavy machinery will be used, including road rail vehicles, an engineering train and a tamper to compact ballast (track stones) for better performance. Our workers will have temporary facilities and access to the railway at various locations including Bristol Parkway Station, Filton Abbey Wood Station, Filton Tip, Patchway Station, Pilning Station and Winterbourne Yard.

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.

Over two weekends we will be working in the vicinity of Filton Abbey Wood station and Stanley Farm, as well as around Constable Road and Bonnington Walk, and further south into Bristol. We will be completing further drainage upgrades along the route to ensure the safe and smooth running of the railway, as well as walkways for our maintenance teams to keep them safe while they work. This will take place:

  • 00:30 Saturday 26 October – 03:30 Monday 28 October
  • 00:01 on Sunday 3 November – 03:20 Monday 4 November.

Heavy machinery will be in use on the first of the two weekends, with work during the second weekend due to be significantly quieter.

Additional work is being planned for the Christmas period with details to follow. For more information about the Filton Bank Four-tracking project, please see our City of Bristol page or our #bristolrailupgrade Twitter feed.

Cattybrook and Patchway station footbridges

Cattybrook footbridge

We’re preparing to install a new footbridge at Cattybrook, between Ash Lane and Ibstock brick works. Preparations are underway, including the removal of vegetation on the brick work’s side of the railway, and we need to install bridge foundations. The new bridge will be lifted in by crane from the brick works car park on two Saturday night shifts in late November/early December.

Patchway Station footbridge

Earlier this year we installed the main structure of the new footbridge at Patchway Station. It came into use in July. We are now working hard to resolve some challenges with on-site power in order to complete the lifts at the station as soon as possible.

Severn Beach line work this summer

Over the summer we completed crucial renewals along the Severn Beach line in the Avonmouth and Clifton Down areas, to ensure the safe and smooth running of the railway in the area.