Engineers working in front of the train

Bristol East Junction track upgrade work reaches halfway point

Work to deliver new track and better journeys when travelling to and from Bristol Temple Meads station is making steady progress, with the project having reached the halfway point.

During a visit to Bristol, Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris is expected to tour the progress being made by Network Rail on the £132m project, which has been funded by the Department for Transport.

Network Rail engineers have been working around the clock to complete the track upgrade which involves removing a bottleneck into Bristol Temple Meads and installing a clever new track layout to the north of the station.

The works will allow more trains to enter and exit the station, increasing capacity, reducing congestion, and helping make journeys more reliable.

Engineering works in Bristol

Having began on July 10, 2021, the eight-week project of work is due to finish on September 3, 2021.

Alongside replacing the 1960s-era track and components, work is also ongoing to install state of the art signalling equipment.

Engineers have already replaced more than 2.1km of track, laid around 7,000 tonnes of ballast (stones that support the track), completed over 400 welds and realigned 200m of copers to suit the new track alignment design on Platforms 1, 3 and 5 to ensure the safe, smooth operation of the railway.

As part of the upgrade of Bristol East Junction, an extra line is also being introduced which will support new suburban services in the future as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) MetroWest scheme.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “This £132m investment will mean more regular and more reliable trains with more seats coming through the station as we increase access to opportunities and better connect communities across the region. 

“Alongside this we are doing an extensive refurbishment of Bristol Temple Meads, providing better passenger facilities and improved accessibility. 

“This is another great example of how we are building back better in Bristol and levelling up the South West.”

Bristol East Junction workers

Michelle Handforth, Network Rail’s Wales & Western Managing Director, said: “I’d like to thank for all passengers for their continued patience as we do this huge piece of work in Bristol. 

“This is a highly complex piece of engineering and once finished, will bring huge benefits in the future such as more trains, more seats and more reliable journeys. The improvements at Bristol Temple Meads will also help transform the station and improve journeys.

“Work will now continue and in the meantime, I urge passengers to keep planning ahead and checking before they travel, particularly during this period.”

Bristol East Junction infographic


RTM Aug/Sept 21


Milestones | The markers of success which HS2 is targeting over the coming years

Our August/September 2021 edition of RTM covers many of the changing aspects of the rail industry, including key changes involving infrastructure and stations. Read our breakdown of the key milestones with HS2 between now and 2024, while elsewhere we investigate the role which hydrogen fuels could have on UK rolling stock. We also delve into the ever-growing digital world of the rail industry, while from Page 65 onwards, we include our Railtex / Infrarail 2021 supplement – your chance to gain a wealth of valuable information about the exhibition, right at your fingertips.


View all videos
Net Zero Rail

RTM365 Online Festival

Net Zero Rail
21st October 2021

The net-zero mission is only just getting started. Join #RTM365 on the 21st October to join the journey as we unite with industry leaders and energy experts to determine the 'green' future of the rail industry.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all