South Gloucestershire

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 shows rebuilding of the railway bridge at Wapley in South Gloucestershire to create the additional space needed for overhead power lines on the Great Western route.

Upgrading the railway in South Gloucestershire

As part of the Greater West Programme, we are electrifying the line to bring passengers quieter, more frequent and more reliable services between London Paddington and Cardiff.

Find out more about what's involved in this work

What we're doing

To enable the route through South Gloucestershire to be electrified we're installing supporting masts and overhead lines, and preparing the foundations for these ('piling'). We've also modified some of the bridges and other structures on the route to create the extra height needed for the overhead lines.

More about our work to electrify the railway

Work dates and locations

Before starting work we may need to clear overgrown vegetation alongside the line. Find out more about why and how we manage vegetation.

Bristol Parkway station

Until December 2018, we are carrying out essential work in and around Bristol Parkway station to prepare it for the new fleet of electric trains.

Our new, fourth platform  is now in operation and was officially opened by Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP on Friday 13 April.

We have also extended the three existing platforms to accommodate the new trains and are improving the track layout to allow more trains to use the station.

Filton Abbey Wood station

We are working at the station as part of our project to double the number of tracks between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway from two to four. Benefits will include greater passenger capacity, additional local stopping services and reduced journey times.

A fourth platform will be built at Filton Abbey Wood station with ramped access to the existing footbridge. In order to support the embankment, we are building a retaining wall between the site of the new platform and the residential area that backs onto the railway. This phase of work is under way. Later in 2018 we will extend the three existing platforms and lay the new track.

Filton Abbey Wood Update letter

Footpath reopened

The footpath that links the car park in Emma-Chris Way to the station footbridge is now open. The diversion route along Nutfield Grove and through the grounds of Nutfield House has closed.

Patchway station footbridge

We need to replace the low footbridge at Patchway station with a higher bridge to allow room for the overhead lines needed for electrification.

We will be installing a temporary footbridge at the station before the existing footbridge is closed and demolished. A new permanent, accessible footbridge, complete with lifts, will take its place by summer 2019.

This work will be completed as follows:

  • Saturday 12 May - Friday 25 May: temporary footbridge installed
  • June 2018: existing footbridge demolished
  • Summer 2019: new footbridge installed.

Normal working hours will be 07:30 - 18:00, Monday to Friday and 23:00 to 07:00 Saturday to Sunday.

 Patchway tunnels upgrade

landscape view of the Patchway Tunnels, photographed by Matt Buck
Patchway Tunnels - Matt Buck

From Saturday 16 June until Saturday 7 July (inclusive), the line will be closed between Patchway station and Severn Tunnel Junction as we work 24/7 to install electrification equipment. Updates will be posted on Twitter: #SummerTunnels

Find out more about what's involved in this work

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.

Last updated 27 April 2018. This page will be updated regularly.