Railway closures set to cause travel disruption

Severn Tunnel electrification drilling work.

Railway passengers are being warned to expect disruption as a result of major engineering works being carried out in the north Bristol area over the next six months.

From Saturday 28th to Monday 30th May, the railway between Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction will be closed, with many services being amended or replaced by buses.

The closure is necessary to allow Network Rail carry out major signal improvements at Filton Bank, which is being upgraded to four tracks, allowing slower local trains to run on their own tracks without hindering or affecting the frequency of new high-speed electric trains that are to be introduced as part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.

A further closure associated with this work is expected to take place over the late August bank holiday weekend (27th to 29th August).

This will be followed by a six week closure of the line between Bristol and South Wales, from 12th September to 21st October, to allow the 130-year-old Severn and Patchway tunnels to be prepared for electrification.

This work will involve installing conductor beams in both tunnels to power the new fleet of electric trains that will run underneath. To install this beam in the Severn tunnel, four tonnes of soot needs to be removed and extensive improvements made to the brick work.

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, said:

“Electrification has many long-term benefits including faster, more frequent trains and a boost to economic growth in towns and cities across the whole of the Western route and beyond.”

“I’d like to thank passengers in advance for their patience and understanding while we deliver the essential upgrades needed to prepare these tunnels for electrification and the benefits this will bring.”

As previously reported, Network Rail is also currently carrying out potentially noisy piling works in the Little Stoke and Patchway areas. This work, associated with the installation of overhead wires, is taking place on Saturday nights and is expected to continue until October.

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This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine, delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to 9,500 homes in Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke and Stoke Lodge. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.