The Bristol East Junction project will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, increase capacity, reduce congestion and help make journeys more reliable
Network Rail engineers have been working around the clock to complete the track upgrade which involves removing a bottleneck into Bristol Temple Meads and installing a clever new track layout just north of the station.
In addition to replacing the 1960s track and components, work is also ongoing to install state of the art signalling equipment.
Engineers have already replaced over 2.1km of track, laid around 7,000 tonnes of ballast (stones that support the track), completed over 400 welds and realigned 200m of copers to suit the new track alignment design on platforms 1, 3 and 5 to ensure the safe and smooth running of the railway.
As part of the upgrade of Bristol East Junction, an extra line is also being introduced which will support new suburban services in the future as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) MetroWest scheme.
This scheme will provide over 4,000 additional seats on trains every day in the area.
This project is funded by Department for Transport.
Building back better in Bristol
Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “This £132m investment will mean more regular and more reliable trains with more seats coming through the station as we increase access to opportunities and better connect communities across the region.
“Alongside this we are doing an extensive refurbishment of Bristol Temple Meads, providing better passenger facilities and improved accessibility.
“This is another great example of how we are building back better in Bristol and levelling up the South West.”
Richard Rowland, GWR customer service and operations director, added: “This work will in time help us to deliver 4,000 more train seats a day into the city, on more services through Bristol and help to reduce the conflict between long-distance and local stopping services, helping to maintain the reliability of our trains.
“We continue to operate trains through Bristol for the vast majority of the period, but there continues to be some alterations to timetables and journey frequency, so please do check what is best for you if you’re travelling.”
Bristol rail regeneration programme
This track upgrade work is part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme that will see a number of improvements to the iconic Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years, representing a major investment in sustainable transport in the region and creating a major transport hub that will serve millions of passengers each year and support business right across the region.