Three-week railway closure set to cause disruption for residents and passengers

Photo of a 110-tonne Kirow crane laying track near Bristol Parkway.

Residents living near the railway lines that run through the Stokes are being warned to expect an intensification in potentially noisy and disruptive maintenance activity as the project to electrify the Great Western mainline enters a critical phase this autumn.

The railway through Bristol Parkway will be closed between 15th September and 6th October inclusive, and again on the weekend of 13th/14th October. No trains will run via Bristol Parkway during these periods.

A Network Rail spokesperson said:

“This phase of the upgrade includes the installation of the overhead line equipment (OLE) used to hold the wires for electrification, and we will be putting up masts and wires over these three weeks in the Bristol Parkway area, from Winterbourne viaduct, through Bristol Parkway Station, up to Little Stoke, and then along the Filton East Curve.”

During these three weeks, trains will still be running, but they will be using diversionary routes. Rail replacement bus and coach services will be in place for some journeys.

Great Western Railway services between London Paddington and South Wales and Cross Country services between Bristol Temple Meads and Cheltenham will call at Patchway instead of Bristol Parkway.

Replacement bus services will link Bristol Parkway, Patchway, Yate and Filton Abbey Wood.

The three-week closure follows similar upgrade work last year, which included building a fourth platform at Bristol Parkway, extending the existing three platforms, and upgrading the track layout in the Parkway area to improve reliability and increase capacity. These upgrades will enable passengers to experience the benefits of Great Western Railway’s new fleet of electric trains, including more frequent services and reduced journey times.

Network Rail’s major programmes director David Buisson said:

“The upgrade in the Bristol Parkway area is vital as we continue to deliver electrification and a more reliable railway for our passengers.”

“I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to the residents living near the railway and to our passengers for their patience and understanding during this period when we have undertaken modernisation work which forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan – it is truly appreciated.”

Rail passengers are advised to check operator websites:

Bristol Parkway electrification: What will the work involve?

Extracts from a Network Rail information pamphlet

  • Before the three-week closure on 15th September, we expect to have installed the vast majority of the 480 electrification pylon foundations in this area. The remainder (fewer than ten) are due to be finished by the end of October, along with the masts, gantries and wiring.
  • We will be testing the equipment during October and November. This part of the work should be less noisy.
  • Foundations for a new signalling gantry near the Hatchet Road Bridge are due to be installed in November 2018. This work will be noisy and we will write to affected residents nearer the time with further details.

More information:

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of the Bradley Stoke Journal news magazine (on page 23). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to ALL 8,700 homes in Bradley Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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  1. Work dates and locations update from Network Rail:

    * Piling *

    Bristol Parkway (Hambrook Lane)
    Friday 14 September – Saturday 15 September 2018
    23.00– 06.00

    Bristol Parkway (Elizabeth Crescent)
    Friday 14 September – Saturday 15 September 2018
    23.00 – 06.00

    Bristol Parkway (New Road)
    Saturday 15 September 2018
    08.00 – 18.00

    Bristol Parkway (Hatchet Road Bridge)
    Monday 17 September 2018
    08.00 – 18.00

    * Steelwork / Masts *

    From Saturday 15 September until Sunday 7 October we will be working around the clock while the railway line through Bristol Parkway is closed. We will be installing any remaining foundations (piling) for the electrification equipment as well as installing the masts and gantries required to support the overhead wires.

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