Bristol bank holiday work.
Passengers and people living near the railway have been thanked by Network Rail following the completion, on time, of August bank holiday railway improvement work in the Bristol area.
As part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers, an extensive programme of signalling work was carried out over the long weekend which saw around 350 members of the orange army working along 50 miles of railway line.
The work saw equipment installed in the 1960s and 70s replaced with the latest technology, paving the way for smoother journeys and fewer delays for passengers. This essential re-signalling work also prepares the Great Western Main Line for the arrival of electrification and the new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains.
It also makes way for work to double the tracks, from two to four lines along the Filton bank, helping to improve capacity on this part of the rail network to meet the demand of increasing numbers of passengers.
Andy Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the West of England, said: “We would like to thank passengers for their patience and understanding over the August bank holiday weekend. Replacing and upgrading 40-year-old signalling equipment is complex and for safety reasons it had to be carried out when trains weren’t running.
“We tried to minimise disruption as much as possible by carrying out the work over a bank holiday, when fewer people use the railway, and thankfully it was a huge success and completed on time. The essential work will allow for passengers to enjoy greater reliability, fewer delays and smoother journeys.”
The extensive work required a temporary closure of the lines between Bristol Parkway and Swindon, Newport, Bristol Temple Meads, Gloucester and Severn Beach. During this temporary closure, trains were diverted and in some cases replacement bus services were in operation.
Now complete, control of the signalling system in this area will move to the state-of-the-art Thames Valley signalling centre in Didcot.
Network Rail Images