A multi-million pound upgrade of a Bristol rail junction to improve train journeys in and out of Temple Meads has been completed.
The work to improve Bristol East Junction has seen old tracks installed in the 1960’s replaced to allow more trains to enter and exit the station.
The improvements, carried out by Network Rail, will increase capacity, reduce congestion and help make journeys more reliable.
The work has now been completed with all railway lines into and out of Bristol Temple Meads reopening and train services resuming normal operations this morning (Saturday, September 4).
The £132 million Department for Transport-funded project started in July and over the past eight weeks engineers have worked night and day using a total of 50 engineering trains to replace over 5km of track.
They have also installed over 300 track panels and laid around 26,000 tonnes of ballast – the stones that support the track.
An additional line has been introduced which paves the way to support new suburban services in the future as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) MetroWest scheme.
Once complete, the scheme will provide over 4,000 additional seats on trains every day in the area, making Bristol Temple Meads a key transport hub in the western region.
As part of the upgrade, an old signalling gantry has been removed and a new gantry, installed over the Christmas period last year (2020), has been brought online.
Follow up work to the remodelled junction will take place on September 25 and 26 affecting trains towards Bristol Parkway on the Saturday and towards Bath Spa on the Sunday.
During this time, there will be changes to train services and passengers are being reminded to check before travelling and where possible plan ahead for their journeys.
The completion of 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.
It will create a major transport hub that will serve millions of passengers each year and support business right across the region.
Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “This was a highly complex piece of engineering that has taken several years to plan and we would like to thank passengers and local residents for their patience and understanding over the past eight weeks while we have completed this work.
“The upgrade of Bristol East Junction is just one aspect of our wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme of work that is transforming the station and railway in Bristol for the benefit of passengers, the city and West of England region.”