Awards, contracts & appointments

05.03.19

Bristol’s MetroWest could be expanded to Gloucester and Westbury

Great Western Railway and Network Rail are reportedly keen on new plans for the MetroWest railway to be expanded to Gloucester and Westbury, leading to growing belief amongst local transport chiefs.

Discussions over expanding the line are due to conclude in the summer, and last year the government said it would back to the ‘phase three’ of the rail project in order to improve suburban train services into Bristol.

Phase one is currently underway, delivering the reopening of the Portishead line to passenger services on the Severn Beach and Bath to Bristol lines; and work is ongoing for phase two, which will see the Henbury line reopen.

Serious discussions are now underway for MetroWest to be expanded 30 miles beyond Yate to Gloucester in the north and 15 miles from Bath to Westbury.

The director of infrastructure for the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) David Carter said it was working with Network Rail to determine the necessary infrastructure.

Carter told councillors that he had asked MetroWest 1 to be extended to Westbury and MetroWest 2 to stretch to Gloucester, stating that it was up to the DfT to negotiate with Great Western Railway to determine whether to accepts the proposal.

He stated: “We have to make sure we keep, in both MetroWest 1 and 2, the cost of the turnback at Bath and the cost of the turnback at Yate until such time as the department confirms Gloucester and Westbury are in the franchise, and we won't know that until June or July.”

Carter added that WECA was working in collaboration with Network Rail on the necessary infrastructure.

“Network Rail and Great Western Railway would rather there weren’t turn backs because it adds to operational resilience issues, but technically there’s space within the timetable to have that turnback and operate the service.”

The Portishead line section received £15m worth of funding from North Somerset Council, with £11.7m over two years spent on developing a full business case, but the plans still face a £31m shortfall, which Carter acknowledged.

If the plans progress, the MetroWest will also see the construction of new railway stations in Ashley Down and Henbury.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

22/03/2019Government gives ‘hugely important’ £208m Belfast Transport Hub the green light

A new £208m Belfast Transport Hub with major rail and bus connections has been granted planning permission by the Department of Infrastruct... more >
New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

22/03/2019New to-the-minute measures for train punctuality introduced to tackle delays

New measures of train punctuality are to be released by train operators and Network Rail next month in a bid to improve performance. The Rai... more >
FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

22/03/2019FirstGroup finalises £100m order for Hitachi trains as plans for London-Edinburgh rail link move forward

FirstGroup has finalised a £100m order for Hitachi AT300 electric trainsets in a partnership between the two companies to create a new Lond... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The West Midlands 30-year strategy

19/03/2019The West Midlands 30-year strategy

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive (WMRE), outlines the West Midlands Rail Investment Strategy 2018-2047. The West Midlands Rail Executive was formed three years ago to give local authorities a direct influence over the award of the region’s main rail franchise. Working with the Department for Transpo... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

26-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

19/03/201926-30 Railcard: taking advantage of opportunities

After a nine-month national trial, the rail industry launched its seventh National Railcard for 26-30-year-olds on 2 January 2019. Rail Delivery ... more >
Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

19/03/2019Caledonian Sleeper: a railway icon re-imagined

The world-renowned Caledonian Sleeper, due to begin operations at the end of spring 2019, completed its first Scotland to London journey earlier ... more >
East West Rail: the next steps

19/03/2019East West Rail: the next steps

In January, five route options for the central section of East West Rail were published as part of a public consultation on the next phase of the... more >
Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

19/03/2019Rail's role in transit-orientated developments

Jonathan Bray, director at the Urban Transport Group (UTG), argues that transit-oriented developments are the future – and that rail has a ... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >