We work 24/7 to keep the rail network running, with scheduled maintenance work and planned upgrades helping to meet growing demand from passengers.

This page provides information about work taking place on the railway in Somerset. You can read and download the latest information here.

Autumn upgrades in Somerset

This autumn we are working on the line at various locations between Berrow/East Brent in Sedgemoor down to Taunton to the south.

We’re upgrading a major junction, replacing sections of straight track, repairing a bridge and renewing level crossings.

All of this work is essential maintenance to ensure the safety of passengers and to improve on reliability and performance.

Level crossings at Lyng and Bridgwater

We’re finishing our track renewal at Lyng, around the Athelney Level Crossing. Having completed the bulk of the work in July, we will now be working overnight shifts between the hours of 21.00 and 09.00 on the following dates:

  • Monday 26 August – Friday 30 August
  • Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September
  • Monday 7 October – Friday 11 October

In late September, preparations get underway to renew Meads Crossing east of Bridgwater, where the railway runs under the M5 motorway.

The bulk of the work takes place in October with follow up shifts until early December:

Work start timeWork end timeWork taking place
Saturday 28 September 23:15Sunday 29 September 07:45Preparation work including positioning rails and setting up lighting
Saturday 5 October 23:15Sunday 07 October 07:45Main track work – removing old and installing new
Saturday 12 October 23:15Sunday 14 October 07:45Compacting stone, welding and other track work
Saturday 19 October 23:15Sunday 20 September 07:45Welding and other track work, removing scrap and snagging
Saturday 26 October 23.15Sunday 27 October 07.00 Welding and other track work, removing scrap and snagging
Saturday 16 November 23.15 Sunday 17 November 07.20 Welding and other track work, removing scrap and snagging
Wednesday 4 December 00.35 Wednesday 4 December 05.10 Compacting stone and final snagging

Renewing track at Bruton and Witham Friary

Earlier this year we completed an upgrade at East Somerset Junction – reinstating a crucial set of points located between Frome and Castle Cary.

Prior to their replacement they had been locked in place. Now with the junction fully operational, there is improved flexibility for passenger and freight services along the Weymouth and East Somerset Branch line.

This autumn we are replacing straight sections of track at two different locations nearby. On the weekend of Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October, we will be replacing worn track near Bruton station, and close to Witham Friary.

We will be working day and night, lifting and removing old track at both locations, before laying a new stone base and installing the new track.

We will be using road rail vehicles to do the heavy lifting and will be accessing the line at Bruton Station and via Witham Friary access point.

Cogload Junction renewal

Intercity Express Train exiting Cogload Junction

To the north of Taunton, we will be replacing Cogload Junction, to the north of Taunton, using Durston yard as our main compound into early 2020.

With preparations completed we will be building up new track panels on site in late September and early October, working 08.00 – 16.00 on week days and 23.45 – 08.00 on Saturday nights.

The upgrade itself will take a full week to complete, with no trains running through the area for the duration. It starts at 02.35 on Saturday 9 November and runs until 05.10 on Friday 15 November.

Up to 150 people will be working on line at any one time, cutting out the old track and removing, cleaning and replacing the ballast (stones) before installing the new track panels. Aside from bulldozers and Road Rail Vehicles, we'll be using a 1,200 tonne crane to position the track as well as an engineering train with special wagons. On night shifts in late November, and in the run up to Christmas, we will be tamping. This is where we compact the ballast to improve the stability and performance of the new track. It is a particularly noisy process and we apologise in advance for any disturbance to residents.

Berrow Road Bridge

From Saturday 9 to Thursday 14 November we will be working on Berrow Road Bridge which carries the B3140 (Station Road/Ham Road) over the railway between Berrow and East Brent.

We will be working day and night on this refurbishment; including grit blasting, which can be very noisy. To ensure the safety of the public this section of road will be closed with diversions in place – watch this space for further details.

Travel arrangements this autumn

Buses replace trains between Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-Super-Mare and Taunton:

  • Saturday 28 September and Sunday 29 September
  • Sunday 6 October
  • Sunday 13 October

CrossCountry trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton will be diverted, adding up to an hour to the normal journey time.

On the weekend of 19 & 20 October

Buses replace trains between Taunton and Castle Cary. Trains between London and the South West will run via Bristol.

Saturday 9 to Thursday 14 November

Buses replace trains on the following routes:

  • Tiverton Parkway to Bristol Parkway (direct)
  • Tiverton Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads (via Taunton)
  • Tiverton Parkway to Castle Cary (via Taunton)
  • Exeter St David’s to Weston-super-Mare (via Taunton)
  • Taunton to Weston-super-Mare (all stations)

For more information, visit National Rail Enquiries' website or www.GWR.com/bristol.