Final stages of work to replace Bristol railway junction near completion as rail company warns of continued disruption

Work to replace a key junction near to Bristol Temple Meads has almost been completed, but rail company GWR is warning customers of continued disruption during the final stages.  

The Bristol Rail Regeneration programme is delivering new railway tracks and signalling to transform the railway serving the Bristol area – paving the way for more train services to move more people, more reliably. 

These trains will provide thousands of additional seats, alongside plans for new stations through the MetroWest initiative backed by the West of England Combined Authority.  

However, as work continues customers travelling over the Bank Holiday weekend, and students returning to school before Monday 6 September, are being reminded that services which are able to operate are expected to be busy; to plan ahead, and allow extra time for their journeys:

Saturday 14 to Monday 30 August 

  • Buses replace trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa 
  • Trains run between Bristol Temple Meads and London Paddington via Bristol Parkway 
  • Trains also run between Bath Spa and London Paddington via Chippenham 
  • Trains won’t stop at Bristol Temple Meads between Bath Spa and Filton Abbey Wood  

Tuesday 31 August to Friday 3 September 

  • Buses will replace all trains to/from Bristol Temple Meads 
  • Trains will run between Bedminster and Weston-super-Mare/Taunton 
  • Trains will also run between Lawrence Hill and Avonmouth/Severn Beach  
  • Trains won’t stop at Bristol Temple Meads between Bath Spa and Filton Abbey Wood  
  • Trains between Cardiff Central and Portsmouth Harbour will be retimed, in some cases earlier than usual, and will be diverted, not calling at Bristol Temple Meads, but calling additionally at Bristol Parkway. Some trains will not run at all or will only run for part of their journey. 

GWR Regional Development Manager Matt Barnes explains: 

“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. 

“But while we will continue to operate trains through Bristol, there will be some alterations to timetables and journey frequency, so please do check what is best for you if you are travelling during the period and allow extra time for your journey.” 

Additional, late timetable changes may apply because of the impact of Covid-19. Great Western Railway has also agreed ticket acceptance to use First West of England buses in the Bristol area on any reasonable route during this period. 

Jonathan Davies, Network Rail Project Director, said: 

“We would like to thank in advance our passengers and local residents for their patience while we undertake this important, transformative work at Bristol East junction. 

“We are working closely with the train operating companies to ensure disruption is minimised as much as possible and we encourage passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel, particularly during this period.” 

To find out more about how your journey may be affected please visit www.gwr.com/bristol. You can also find out more about the ongoing Bristol Rail Regeneration programme at Networkrail.co.uk/BristolRailRegen.  

Work to upgrade the lines serving Bristol Temple Meads from both Bristol Parkway and Bath Spa is due to be completed by Saturday 4 September.  

Final testing of the new junction is planned for the weekend of 25/26 September – this will affect trains towards Bristol Parkway on the Saturday and towards Bath Spa on the Sunday. 

Please note there will also be no trains between London Paddington and Slough/Reading until midday on Sunday 26 September due to signalling work in the Thames Valley area. 

Photo credit: GWR

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