Latest Rail News

08.02.18

Bristol stations will experience Easter disruption as NR completes £130m signalling upgrade

Network Rail has warned that train services around Bristol are likely to suffer from disruption over Easter while engineers complete its “biggest ever signalling upgrade.”

For five days between Good Friday and 3 April, bus replacement will be in operation on at local stations, with trains from London Paddington terminating early at Bath Spa.

Part of the Railway Upgrade Plan, the £130m update is expected to improve the speed and reliability of travel in and out of Bristol, alongside work later this year to double the tracks along the Filton Bank area.

Tony Lamb, senior sponsor for the project at Network Rail said the upgrade was part of a “huge effort” by the infrastructure manager to improve services in the area.

“Once complete, along with Filton Four Tracking at the end of this year, rail journeys in Bristol will be transformed with more seats, quicker journeys and more services,” he commented.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped us get to this stage and also passengers who have remained patient with us throughout the upgrade.”

Network Rail explained that this signalling upgrade was possible because of a months’ worth of work delivered over the Christmas period, including installation of 30km of cable, upgrades to signalling gantries, 124 signal tests and axle counter upgrades.

Rob Mullen, operations director at GWR, said the work was “vital” to aid with the introduction of the operator’s new Intercity Express fleet.

He explained: “This work is vital for GWR to be able to continue to deliver the full benefits our new Intercity Express Train fleet is bringing, including seven trains an hour between London and Bristol and quicker journey times – further supporting Bristol and its economy.”

GWR experienced some early issues in the introduction of its new stock – scheduled to replace 40-year-old High Speed Trains beginning in late 2017.

A disastrous first journey saw software failures and a broken air conditioning unit which dripped water onto passengers, although the problems have now been dealt with.

Bus replacement will affect all trains between Bristol Temple Meads, Patchway, Bristol Parkway, Bath Spa and Weston-super-Mare, while services on the Severn Beach line will also be altered.

Top image: Network Rail

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here

Comments

Andrew Gwilt   08/02/2018 at 20:17

So how comes that electrification to Bristol Temple Meads will not happen as its been cancelled. And Bristol Parkway will see overhead wires installed as part of the GW electrification.

Huguenot   09/02/2018 at 15:37

No, Andrew, electrification to Temple Meads via both Bath and Bristol Parkway hasn't been cancelled. It's just been put at the back of the queue, with electrification to Cardiff and Chippenham going ahead first.

Jpg   09/02/2018 at 20:57

Andrew I am lead to believe that you are correct Bristol electrification has been cancelled. It just hasn't been released yet just awaiting Grayling's next away day abroad

Icn   10/02/2018 at 09:53

NR PR spin again. The work taking place at Temple Meads this Easter is esentially an asset renewal exercise and not an upgrade as such with many of the existing signalling assets being replaced on a like for like basis basis and many retained & recontrolled. There will be no perceivable benefit to the travelling public other than the improvement (hopefully) in reliability.

Andrew Jones   10/02/2018 at 20:24

I wonder about the re-control to Thames Valley Signalling Centre; it is a lot of eggs in one basket, eventually something will go wrong, and that will be in a big way. Or is there duplicated control from a second Signalling Centre, with diversely routed cables, by alternative routes. Each half controlling half, but with the ability to control the other half in the event of a major problem?

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

19/07/2018DfT pledges ‘tough action’ on GTR, contract breach review due this month

GTR could be at risk of losing control of its franchise as early as this month depending on the outcome of a “hard review” into wheth... more >
Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

19/07/2018Higgins urges Grayling to make decision on Yorkshire HS2 parkway station

HS2 Ltd’s outgoing chairman, Sir David Higgins, has urged the government to make a decision on proposals to create a parkway station on the... more >
Rail fares must be simplified if HS2 is to ‘raise the bar’ as promised

19/07/2018Rail fares must be simplified if HS2 is to ‘raise the bar’ as promised

Railway fares must be simplified if HS2 is to bring a step change to the way passengers travel on the network, argued Sir David Higgins. Wri... 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 >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... 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. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE)... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

17/07/2018Elizabeth Line: a greener approach

Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail and the Elizabeth Line, outlines the key features of the brand-new, eco-friendly Old Oak Common de... more >
iRail: investing in the future

17/07/2018iRail: investing in the future

The rail industry today faces many challenges, one of those being the skills gap in high- speed rail. However, events like iRail are doing their ... more >
HS2: collaborate to innovate

17/07/2018HS2: collaborate to innovate

Dr Chris Goodier and Dr Steve Yeomans, of Loughborough University’s Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE)... more >
Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

17/07/2018Hydrogen trains: bringing the success story to the UK

Hydrogen-powered trains are already a reality in other rail networks in Europe. Now, working alongside Eversholt Rail, Alstom UK plans to bring t... more >