Train travel through Bristol Parkway has been severely disrupted this evening following a security alert that has led to the station being closed.
Reports of a suspicious package and/or suspicious activity are believed to have led to a decision to evacuate the station.
Around 300 passengers on two trains stopped at the station’s platforms were ordered out of their carriages and told to leave all luggage behind. They were later instructed to assemble in the station’s car park, where coaches were later laid on to take them to other nearby stations.
The station approaches were sealed off by police roadblocks and the police helicopter circled the scene overhead.
One of the trains involved was reported to be the 16:25 from Cardiff to London Paddington. The evacuation is understood to have taken place shortly before 5:15pm.
Many of the affected passengers were football fans heading for an Olympic Games match in Cardiff.
A number of passengers were seen walking through Stoke Gifford, heading for nearby Patchway station, where they hoped to be able to continue their journeys.
Related link: First Great Western JourneyCheck
UPDATE (6:55pm): BBC Points West reports that trains are now running through the station but NOT stopping.
UPDATE (7:03pm; ITV News/First Great Western): “We have just been notified all trains stopped at Bristol Parkway are now on the move. One affected train had a couple of people travelling to the Olympic Football, this has been prioritised. They will arrive in time for kick off. Station now fully reopened and trains allowed to call, although it will take some time for our service to get fully back to normal.”
UPDATE (8:33pm; ITV News): British Transport Police say the train manager on the 15:28 Swansea to London Paddington service reported a suspicious package. A search of the train found nothing of concern. Video: Police describe operation at Bristol Parkway station
In the media:
- Swansea to London passengers ordered to evacuate train at Bristol Parkway in security alert (Wales Online)
- Bristol train station evacuated (ITV News)
- Police apologise to train passengers after security scare (ITV News)
Photo: A police officer (left) attempts to explain the situation to frustrated passengers in the car park of the station.