Work has been carried out to prepare the railway junction north of Bristol Temple Meads station, which is set for a major overhaul to improve the flow of trains in and out of the station.
Network Rail will be replacing the track and installing a new layout at the major Bristol East Junction, improving reliability and increasing capacity on the track for more services to run.
Work is set to begin on July 10, 2021 and run over an eight-week period until September 3, 2021.
Prior to Network Rail carrying out preparatory works on the site, the project was anticipated to take 12 weeks to complete.
During the upgrade works, engineers will be cutting out the old track, digging out the ballast and removing the old signal gantry. These will then be replaced by newly-laid track and ballast, as well as the installation of new signalling equipment and the improved track layout.
Much of Bristol East Junction’s track and engineering components were laid in the 1960s and required replacement.
As part of the upgrade of the junction, an extra line is also being introduced which will support new suburban services, as part of the MetroWest scheme ran by the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). Once complete, this will provide more than 4,000 additional seats on passenger services in the area each day.
The improvement works form part of the Bristol Rail Regeneration programme, which will see improvements to Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years, supporting developments in the city.
Jonathan Davies, Network Rail Project Director, said: “Bristol Temple Meads station is an integral transport hub for the West of England and we are committed to improving the reliability and capacity of the railway for the benefit of our passengers, the city and wider region.
“Much of the track and engineering components at Bristol East Junction were laid in the 1960s and need to be replaced.
“Our work to upgrade this important junction is a highly complex engineering project which has taken years to plan and we are excited by the benefits it will bring to our passengers once complete.
“We recognise this work will result in changes to train services and we are working closely with the train operating companies to ensure passengers can still get to where they need to go, and we encourage passengers to plan ahead and check before they travel, particularly during this period.
“We would like to thank in advance our passengers and local residents for their patience while we undertake this important, transformative work at Bristol East junction.”