Track upgrade completed at Bristol East Junction

Network Rail has completed its major upgrade of Bristol East Junction, removing a bottleneck into Bristol Temple Meads and replacing the 1960s track and components. This will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, increase capacity, reduce congestion and help make journeys more reliable.

The work was completed as planned on Friday 3rd September with all railway lines into and out of Bristol Temple Meads reopening and train services resuming normal operations on Saturday morning.

The £132m Department for Transport-funded project started on Saturday 10 July and over the past eight weeks Network Rail engineers have worked day and night using a total of 50 engineering trains to replace over 5km of track, install over 300 track panels and lay around 26,000 tonnes of ballast.

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, this 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.

The completion of this track upgrade work is part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme that will see a number of improvements to Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “I am delighted we have completed this important upgrade work which, now finished, will bring great benefits to passengers, particularly more trains, more seats and more reliable journeys.

“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.”

Richard Rowland, GWR customer service and operations director, said: “We are very grateful to our passengers who have shown great patience and understanding during this work to create an infrastructure fit for the future of our rail services.

“This work will help us to deliver 4,000 more train seats a day into the city, on more services through Bristol; starting with the introduction of half-hourly services on the Severn Beach line later this year.”

Follow up work to the remodelled junction will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September 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 reminded to check before travelling and where possible plan ahead for their journeys.

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