The first phase of construction for a new entrance at Bristol Temple Meads has just been completed, providing customers with a gateway to the east of the city, and the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.
The recent work represents the first part of a £20m West of England Combined Authority-funded project, and was undertaken simultaneously with the upgrade at Bristol East Junction - whilst train services weren’t running - to minimise disruption.
Network Rail engineers and contractors, BAM Nuttall, installed 18 concrete piles below platform 15, 20m into the ground, to support the new structure.
A 750-tonne crane was used to lift pre-cast concrete units into place, creating a bridge which allowed for the track to be re-laid on top and trains to pass overhead.
The new eastern entrance is being built at the far end of the existing passenger subway and is set to improve access into Bristol Temple Meads, providing greater capacity for passengers entering and exiting the station to the east of the city via the development site on Cattle Market Road.
This is also where the University of Bristol’s planned Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus is due to be located.
Phil Bowcock, Operations Manager, BAM Nuttall, said “BAM Nuttall has been renewing, restoring and improving access to Britain’s Railway for over 20 years.”
The Operations Manager continued, "we understand the value of railway heritage but also recognise the need to modernise our infrastructure in order to meet passenger expectations, unlock economic improvement and offer environmentally friendly sustainable solutions.”
He added, "Bristol Temple Meads is a station steeped in history and it’s a real privilege to contribute towards the next phase of its development. On completion of the Eastern entrance, the railway will, once again be a catalyst for development within Bristol and we are proud to play a small part in that.”
The numerous upgrades and new developments will also support Bristol City Council’s regeneration plans for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, ensuring Bristol Temple Meads station becomes a key transport hub.
Passengers will find it much easier to navigate through the city, alongside improved connectivity in the West of England region.
The second part of this work will kickstart this autumn and plans involve the installation of a new ticket gate, and a small entry building currently under design.
This work makes up part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme which will see a number of improvements to the iconic Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years.
The scheme marks a major investment in sustainable transport in the region, establishing a critical transport hub that will support business, and serve millions of passengers each year.
Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor, said “if we are to meet our ambitious 2030 net zero target we need our public transport network to be much better than it is. Getting people on to trains is a key goal."
He added, "we are proposing £350m for transport over the next 20 years. These are significant changes which will take many years to complete, but the wheels are being set in motion.”