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.

We have now completed electrification of the route between London Paddington and Cardiff, via Bristol Parkway.

During Christmas 2019 we completed the section between Newport and Cardiff, meaning commuters are now able to travel capital to capital under electric power for the first time.

The time-lapse film below shows two 44m booms being installed just outside Bristol Parkway station, at a crucial earlier stage of the project. The booms support the wires that power GWR’s Intercity Express Trains through South Gloucestershire.


Gipsy Patch Lane bridge

We’re working on behalf of South Gloucestershire Council to replace the railway bridge on Gipsy Patch Lane as part of the council’s Cribbs Patchway metrobus extension project.

The new bridge has been successfully constructed at an adjacent compound and the foundations completed.

We’d planned to move the bridge into position 11 – 20 April. However, the installation of the new bridge requires around 150 skilled workers to be on site at any one time, with the majority working in a constrained area. This means that we are not able to comply with government announcements and guidance from Public Health England on the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with regard to social distancing and maintaining two metres between workers.

Maintaining the safety of our workers and preventing the spread of the coronavirus is paramount at this time. As a result, the bridge move is being rescheduled.

Further details can be found at www.southglos.gov.uk/CPmetrobus


Ableton Lane points renewal

We need to replace a set of points between Pilning station and the Severn Tunnel. Points allow trains to move from one set of tracks to another.

This project had been planned to coincide with the now postponed Gipsy Patch lane bridge installation, to reduce overall disruption to the travelling public. This project is still due to go ahead as we are confident it can be delivered safely in line with current government guidelines on COVID-19. It is crucial maintenance needed to ensure the safe and reliable running of the railway for essential passengers and freight. Work is taking place as follows:

Tuesday 7 April – Saturday 11 April

  • Deliveries of large sections of track by lorry into our compound at Pilning station.
  • Stop/Go boards will be in use on Station Road to direct traffic

Saturday 11 April – Monday 20 April

  • Engineering trains and road rail vehicles will be in use around the clock to replace old track and points

Follow up work

  • Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 April
  • Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May
  • Saturday nights until mid-June

Drainage work near Filton Abbey Wood

We are nearing completion of our follow up work on Filton Bank, after the opening of our two new railway lines between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood.

However, further drainage work is needed alongside the track near Filton Abbey Wood station, as well as at locations further south along the line, around Horfield and Lockleaze in Bristol.

We’ll be using an engineering train, road rail vehicles and a tamping train to pack the ballast (stones). We are also likely to need a suction excavator for removing the ballast. All of this work can be noisy.

This drainage work was also planned to coincide with the now postponed bridge installation at Gipsy Patch Lane and with our points renewal at Ableton Lane. It is deemed safe to proceed in line with government guidelines on COVID-19.

We will be working non-stop day and night over two weekends as follows:

  • 01.00 Saturday 18 April – 03.40 Monday 20 April
  • 01.00 Saturday 25 April – 03.40 Monday 27 April

Follow up work will continue on Saturday night shifts as required.


Travel advice

Is your journey necessary? Please only travel if it is essential.

A reduced timetable is in place to prioritise services for key workers and freight during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you really do have to travel:

Saturday 11 April – Sunday 19 April:

  • Train services between Bristol and South Wales will be amended and buses replace trains between Bristol Parkway and Newport.

Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 April, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April and Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 May:

  • Buses replace trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood.

Please check before you travel: www.nationalrail.co.uk or www.GWR.com


Patchway station and Cattybrook footbridges

Patchway Station footbridge was constructed during Easter 2019, with lift shafts completed by the end of the year. Issues with external suppliers delayed getting power to the lifts but that has been resolved now, with a permanent power supply in place.

CCTV now needs setting up by another third party, but this is now being delayed by COVID-19. Once this step is completed then full testing will be necessary before the lifts can be brought into use.

Cattybrook footbridge near Ibstock brick works in Almondsbury was recently completed and opened to the public on 16 March.

Minor snagging work, including painting, installation of fencing and the replanting of shrubs will be completed there as soon as possible but is also unfortunately now being held up by the current pandemic.