Bristol Temple Meads - eastern approach remodelling

Joined
25 Jan 2021
Messages
195
Location
Bristol
I've run a search on the forum for this and it appears that past discussion of the subject matter is scattered across several topics and is somewhat old. What I was trying to find is a definitive plan of what is actually going to be done during this work? I recall there were some rather grandiose proposals including flyovers, reopening the Old Station for Paddington services (entailing demolishing the existing signabox), some of which featured in artists impressions on the front of the Bristol Evening Post (which is usually a death-knell for anything so featured!).
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
20,336
Well there’s no flyovers.

The 4 tracks from Filton will be extended right into the station, rather than dropping to three for a short distance, and then there’s some higher speed turnouts and much less complexity. And everything becomes OLE ready (but no OLE yet, although I suspect it won’t be too far behind).

The old station isn’t being reinstated throughout this - no need to.
 

Class 170101

Established Member
Joined
1 Mar 2014
Messages
6,916
Well there’s no flyovers.

The 4 tracks from Filton will be extended right into the station, rather than dropping to three for a short distance, and then there’s some higher speed turnouts and much less complexity. And everything becomes OLE ready (but no OLE yet, although I suspect it won’t be too far behind).

The old station isn’t being reinstated throughout this - no need to.

Is the old station still in the plan for later or another item deferred like the OLE? In a way it seems a shame that both can't be done in one go especially with COVID hanging around.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
20,336
Is the old station still in the plan for later or another item deferred like the OLE? In a way it seems a shame that both can't be done in one go especially with COVID hanging around.

It’s still possible, but as I said, there’s no need for it.
 

DaveHarries

Established Member
Joined
12 Dec 2011
Messages
1,992
Location
England
A heads-up which suggests the possible date for the works to take place. GWR's website, under its engineering works section, says that there will be engineering works from "Bristol Temple Meads to Lawrence Hill/Patchway" between Saturday 10th July and Friday 06th August so around 4 weeks closure for these works.

Dave
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
20,336
A heads-up which suggests the possible date for the works to take place. GWR's website, under its engineering works section, says that there will be engineering works from "Bristol Temple Meads to Lawrence Hill/Patchway" between Saturday 10th July and Friday 06th August so around 4 weeks closure for these works.

Dave

That’s just part of it.
 

Ashley Hill

Established Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
1,284
Location
The West Country
Plans on the Branch Line Society site suggest that the High Level siding (adjacent to P1) could have provision for future extension into the old trainshed. Logic would suggest P1 would also be extended.The same plan also suggests passive provision for a 5 car bay between P5/7.One of the old loco spurs at this location is being removed so presumably the remaining one will have the ability for its position lights to be replaced in the future.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
20,336
Golly. Wonder if there is yet a date for the rest: no doubt we will know soon enough. I wonder what work they plan to get done in that July / August closure then.
Dave

Fairly sure it’s 6 or even 8 weeks, with the other part of the block closing the route to Bath.

The closure digs the whole lot up and puts in the new.
 
Joined
25 Jan 2021
Messages
195
Location
Bristol
Well there’s no flyovers.

The 4 tracks from Filton will be extended right into the station, rather than dropping to three for a short distance, and then there’s some higher speed turnouts and much less complexity. And everything becomes OLE ready (but no OLE yet, although I suspect it won’t be too far behind).

The old station isn’t being reinstated throughout this - no need to.
Thank you for the update.

From what was in the public domain at the time, I think talk of the Old Station, flyovers etc. stemmed from a marketing-led desire to have dedicated platforms for Paddington trains - whether routed via Bath or Badminton. Now as an amateur observer, even I could see this being difficult; whichever side of the station had the dedicated platforms two trains an hour in each direction would have to amble their way across the entire eastern end of the station. I presume operating realities have overruled marketing fantasies in this respect.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,811
Location
Nottingham
I think at one time the idea was to have dedicated platforms in the old station for the London "flyers" via Parkway, which would be on the correct side of the layout. These were envisaged as the primary London service so passengers would be directed towards them.
 

59CosG95

Established Member
Joined
18 Aug 2013
Messages
5,530
Location
Peterborough
Plans on the Branch Line Society site suggest that the High Level siding (adjacent to P1) could have provision for future extension into the old trainshed. Logic would suggest P1 would also be extended.The same plan also suggests passive provision for a 5 car bay between P5/7.One of the old loco spurs at this location is being removed so presumably the remaining one will have the ability for its position lights to be replaced in the future.
Do you have a link to these plans?
 

rower40

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2008
Messages
185
Filton lines closed Sat 10th July to Sat 7th Aug.
All lines closed Sat 7th Aug to Sat 14th Aug.
(plats 8, 10, 12, 15 still accessible from West, except on Sun 8th when everything is shut)
Main lines closed Sat 14th Aug to Tues 31st Aug.
All lines closed (again!) Tues 31st Aug to Sat 4th Sept - Rhubarb curve open to allow traffic to avoid station.

Having said that - this was from a plan that was written just before somebody got a bit poorly in Wuhan.
 

Dr Hoo

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2015
Messages
2,748
Location
Hope Valley
I think at one time the idea was to have dedicated platforms in the old station for the London "flyers" via Parkway, which would be on the correct side of the layout. These were envisaged as the primary London service so passengers would be directed towards them.
Depends which bit of the layout you mean.

Without getting too pedantic about the precise shape and orientation of a very curved station, the highest-numbered platforms on the 'south' side obviously feed into the classic GWR route via Bath.

The 'middle' platforms feed into the 'eastern' set of lines up Filton Bank following the recent re-quadrupling. These are the ones that give access to Bristol Parkway.

The low-numbered platforms on the 'north' side (and potentially the Old Station) feed into the western pair of tracks up Filton Bank towards South Wales and Severn Beach.

It would seem perverse to deconflict and parallelise the East Junction layout and then have regular services crossing the majority of it un-necessarily to/from the Old Station.
 
Last edited:

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
21,811
Location
Nottingham
Depends which bit of the layout you mean.

Without getting too pedantic about the precise shape and orientation of a very curved station, the highest-numbered platforms on the 'south' side obviously feed into the classic GWR route via Bath.

The 'middle' platforms feed into the 'eastern' set of lines up Filton Bank following the recent re-quadrupling. These are the ones that give access to Bristol Parkway.

The low-numbered platforms on the 'north' side (and potentially the Old Station) feed into the western pair of tracks up Filton Bank towards South Wales and Severn Beach.

It would seem perverse to deconflict and parallelise the East Junction layout and then have regular services crossing the majority of it un-necessarily to/from the Old Station.
Yes, true, they would have to cross to the eastern pair somewhere between TM and Filton. But nowhere near as bad as crossing much of the layout in the short distance between the eastern platform ends at TM and the divergence of the lines towards Bath and Filton.

I guess the optimum place operationally for the London (via Parkway) trains would be 5 or 7.
 

uvarvu

Member
Joined
5 Apr 2016
Messages
64
I wonder whether anything will happen to that abandoned bridge over whitby road.
 
Joined
25 Jan 2021
Messages
195
Location
Bristol
I wonder whether anything will happen to that abandoned bridge over whitby road.
‘Something’ will happen to that bridge when ‘somebody’ does some kind of cost/benefit analysis and decides it is in their financial interest to do ‘something’, but it is a little bit away from the site of the works under discussion here.

Yes, true, they would have to cross to the eastern pair somewhere between TM and Filton. But nowhere near as bad as crossing much of the layout in the short distance between the eastern platform ends at TM and the divergence of the lines towards Bath and Filton.

I guess the optimum place operationally for the London (via Parkway) trains would be 5 or 7.
It will be interesting to see how it all pans out after the works are completed. In recent times it seems that platform 3 is favourite for northbound CrossCountry workings, whilst I've been on some Great Malvern services departing from much higher-numbered platforms.
 
Last edited:

DaveHarries

Established Member
Joined
12 Dec 2011
Messages
1,992
Location
England
Filton lines closed Sat 10th July to Sat 7th Aug.
All lines closed Sat 7th Aug to Sat 14th Aug.
(plats 8, 10, 12, 15 still accessible from West, except on Sun 8th when everything is shut)
Main lines closed Sat 14th Aug to Tues 31st Aug.
All lines closed (again!) Tues 31st Aug to Sat 4th Sept - Rhubarb curve open to allow traffic to avoid station.
Thanks for this info: I wonder if things will pan out that way but I had no idea they were planning for so much closure time. I take it by "main lines" you mean the Bath route? Or do you mean the FL from Bristol East to Filton? Either way it will be seriously fun for key workers, like myself, who use trains as part of a day's work! All in a good cause though by the sound of it.

Dave
 

DaveHarries

Established Member
Joined
12 Dec 2011
Messages
1,992
Location
England
Here is a screenshot I've obtained.
Not my plan!
View attachment 89532
Many thanks for the diagrams. Someone on another forum has put this from the EAS, saying for week 15 (from 10th July):

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

BRISTOL EAST 8 WEEK CORE BLOCKADE. PART 1 OF 8.

POSSESSION CONTINUES AS P2021/2688025

MAJOR TIMETABLE AMENDMENTS REQUIRED.

THROUGH ROUTE AVAILABLE VIA RHUBARB CURVES THROUGHOUT [APART FROM DURING NBS PERIOD].

SERVICES BETWEEN FILTON BANK AND TEMPLE MEADS TO REVERSE IN BRISTOL EAST DEPOT AREA [APART FROM DURING NBS PERIOD].

NO ACCESS TO BARTON HILL DEPOT FOR DURATION.

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

NBS = No Booked Services.
Of course, 8 weeks goes well past 8th August. Part 2 starts with this comment for week 19:

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

BRISTOL EAST 8 WEEK CORE BLOCKADE. PART 5
OF 8.

THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF P2021/2688027.

POSSESSION CONTINUES AS P2021/2688177.

MAJOR TIMETABLE ALTERATIONS REQUIRED.

FROM 0100 SAT

NO ACCESS TO TEMPLE MEADS FROM THE EAST
/ FILTON BANK. THROUGH ROUTE AVAILIBLE VIA
RHUBARB CURVES. PLATFORMS 8, 10, 12 AND 15
AVAILABLE AS WEST FACING BAYS ONLY. NO
ROUTE EXISTS THROUGH TEMPLE MEADS.

0100 SUN TO 0400 MON

NO ACCESSS TO TEMPLE MEADS.

SERVICES TO WEST OF ENGLAND TO DIVERT VIA
WESTBURY.

SERVICES TO TERMINATE AT BATH SPA.

NO SERVICES ON FILTON BANK OR SEVERN
BEACH BRANCH.

RAIL REPLACEMENT SERVICES REQUIRED.

ACCESS TO BBHT, AVONMOUTH AND
SEVERNSIDE SITA VIA CHARLTON TUNNEL /
HALLEN MARSH JN ONLY.

ACCESS TO ST PHILLIPS MARSH DEPOT VIA
BRISTOL WEST ONLY, TO/FROM COUNTRY.

FROM 0400 MON

NO ACCESS TO TEMPLE MEADS FROM THE EAST
/ FILTON BANK. THROUGH ROUTE AVAILABLE VIA
RHUBARB CURVES. PLATFORMS 8, 10, 12 AND 15
AVAILABLE AS WEST FACING BAYS ONLY. NO
ROUTE EXISTS THROUGH TEMPLE MEADS.

NO ACCESS TO BARTON HILL DEPOT FOR
DURATION.

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

The final end date, according to the post on the other forum, "appears to be 9th September. The details vary week by week with different platforms being out of use. You'd need to go through the whole lot carefully to find out exactly what's in use - or wait for the service information later."

I use trains as part of my job (key worker but non-rail) on a near daily basis and I am based in Bristol. Summer will be fun this year!
Dave
 
Last edited:

Envoy

Established Member
Joined
29 Aug 2014
Messages
1,784
It’s a pity that all this major work is not being carried out now whilst the virus/lockdowns have drastically reduced rail use. The odds are that by summer, the virus will be in retreat and people will be travelling by train again - especially as hopefully by then, most of the population will have been vaccinated. When the press and general public find out about this major closure/disruption when everybody is on the move again after this long spell of ‘dormancy’, the rail industry will get a lot of criticism.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
20,336
It’s a pity that all this major work is not being carried out now whilst the virus/lockdowns have drastically reduced rail use. The odds are that by summer, the virus will be in retreat and people will be travelling by train again - especially as hopefully by then, most of the population will have been vaccinated. When the press and general public find out about this major closure/disruption when everybody is on the move again after this long spell of ‘dormancy’, the rail industry will get a lot of criticism.

Yes if only someone could have predicted this pandemic when the work was planned nearly 3 years ago.

I nother News, there are only so many resources to deliver this type of work - particularly signalling testers, heavy cranes and wagons for switch and crossings, and the switch and crossing manufacturing capacity. And that is all taken up with Kings Cross which is happening now.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,888
It’s a pity that all this major work is not being carried out now whilst the virus/lockdowns have drastically reduced rail use. The odds are that by summer, the virus will be in retreat and people will be travelling by train again - especially as hopefully by then, most of the population will have been vaccinated. When the press and general public find out about this major closure/disruption when everybody is on the move again after this long spell of ‘dormancy’, the rail industry will get a lot of criticism.

Yes if only someone could have predicted this pandemic when the work was planned nearly 3 years ago.

I nother News, there are only so many resources to deliver this type of work - particularly signalling testers, heavy cranes and wagons for switch and crossings, and the switch and crossing manufacturing capacity. And that is all taken up with Kings Cross which is happening now.
Indeed, if work can be brought forward there is currently a big focus on it. But as said, if the resource isn't there or is allocated to another job then you cannot do much about it. Also factor in the issues of altering timetables again at very short notice. We are doing that anyway, but adding more on top is incredibly difficult and not necessarily sensible.
 

Envoy

Established Member
Joined
29 Aug 2014
Messages
1,784
Many thanks for the 2 responses above in reply to my earlier post about this engineering work.
 
Joined
25 Jan 2021
Messages
195
Location
Bristol
Here is a screenshot I've obtained.
Not my plan!
View attachment 89532
Thank you for that
Many thanks for the diagrams. Someone on another forum has put this from the EAS, saying for week 15 (from 10th July):

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

BRISTOL EAST 8 WEEK CORE BLOCKADE. PART 1 OF 8.

POSSESSION CONTINUES AS P2021/2688025

MAJOR TIMETABLE AMENDMENTS REQUIRED.

THROUGH ROUTE AVAILABLE VIA RHUBARB CURVES THROUGHOUT [APART FROM DURING NBS PERIOD].

SERVICES BETWEEN FILTON BANK AND TEMPLE MEADS TO REVERSE IN BRISTOL EAST DEPOT AREA [APART FROM DURING NBS PERIOD].

NO ACCESS TO BARTON HILL DEPOT FOR DURATION.

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

NBS = No Booked Services.
Of course, 8 weeks goes well past 8th August. Part 2 starts with this comment for week 19:

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

BRISTOL EAST 8 WEEK CORE BLOCKADE. PART 5
OF 8.

THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF P2021/2688027.

POSSESSION CONTINUES AS P2021/2688177.

MAJOR TIMETABLE ALTERATIONS REQUIRED.

FROM 0100 SAT

NO ACCESS TO TEMPLE MEADS FROM THE EAST
/ FILTON BANK. THROUGH ROUTE AVAILIBLE VIA
RHUBARB CURVES. PLATFORMS 8, 10, 12 AND 15
AVAILABLE AS WEST FACING BAYS ONLY. NO
ROUTE EXISTS THROUGH TEMPLE MEADS.

0100 SUN TO 0400 MON

NO ACCESSS TO TEMPLE MEADS.

SERVICES TO WEST OF ENGLAND TO DIVERT VIA
WESTBURY.

SERVICES TO TERMINATE AT BATH SPA.

NO SERVICES ON FILTON BANK OR SEVERN
BEACH BRANCH.

RAIL REPLACEMENT SERVICES REQUIRED.

ACCESS TO BBHT, AVONMOUTH AND
SEVERNSIDE SITA VIA CHARLTON TUNNEL /
HALLEN MARSH JN ONLY.

ACCESS TO ST PHILLIPS MARSH DEPOT VIA
BRISTOL WEST ONLY, TO/FROM COUNTRY.

FROM 0400 MON

NO ACCESS TO TEMPLE MEADS FROM THE EAST
/ FILTON BANK. THROUGH ROUTE AVAILABLE VIA
RHUBARB CURVES. PLATFORMS 8, 10, 12 AND 15
AVAILABLE AS WEST FACING BAYS ONLY. NO
ROUTE EXISTS THROUGH TEMPLE MEADS.

NO ACCESS TO BARTON HILL DEPOT FOR
DURATION.

= = = = == = = = = = = = = =

The final end date, according to the post on the other forum, "appears to be 9th September. The details vary week by week with different platforms being out of use. You'd need to go through the whole lot carefully to find out exactly what's in use - or wait for the service information later."

I use trains as part of my job (key worker but non-rail) on a near daily basis and I am based in Bristol. Summer will be fun this year!
Dave
Also thank you for that.

It’s a pity that all this major work is not being carried out now whilst the virus/lockdowns have drastically reduced rail use. The odds are that by summer, the virus will be in retreat and people will be travelling by train again - especially as hopefully by then, most of the population will have been vaccinated. When the press and general public find out about this major closure/disruption when everybody is on the move again after this long spell of ‘dormancy’, the rail industry will get a lot of criticism.
Some other members have already responded, I’ll just add that you probably answered your own point by using the words “major work” in your opening sentence. Although I have no connection with the rail industry I do have an understanding that projects of this magnitude are several years in the planning. Sometimes it is possible to bring things forward by 6 months, but such moves come with an invoice with £<verybignumber> at the bottom.
 
Last edited:

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
5,164
Location
Torbay
Here is a screenshot I've obtained.
Not my plan!
View attachment 89532
Nice diagram!
The same plan also suggests passive provision for a 5 car bay between P5/7.One of the old loco spurs at this location is being removed so presumably the remaining one will have the ability for its position lights to be replaced in the future.
The possible new bay between platforms #5 & #7 is a good idea, extending one of the middle sidings which are so short they were only useful for a single loco in the past, though ISTR they could just squeeze a spare pacer unit in if necessary. There was never any possibility of extending them before, as the Royal Mail facility was in the way, now removed of course. I reckon they could probably fit about 80m standage clear of the historic station buildings, so enough for a 4x20m or a 3x23m train. Any longer would be more complex, extending under the trainshed, requiring listed building alterations and possibly affecting the usable length of #5.
 
Last edited:

Annetts key

Member
Joined
13 Feb 2021
Messages
689
Location
West is best
Some points (pun intended)

Bristol Panel PSB (controlling Flax Bourton to Fordgate (Bridgwater)) is staying at least until the end of CP6. And currently it’s looking very unlikely for any change in the first half of CP7. When a senior manager was last asked, the answer was that there is no current business case to transfer the signalling anywhere else. Further, it’s now considered impractical to add any further significant sections to TVSC at Didcot. And there does not appear to be any appetite to transfer control to Exeter PSB.

Hence the plan to reopen the old platforms 12/13 and 15 (the “Midland shed”), which are currently an undercover car park is not going to happen anytime soon.

Platforms 1 and 3 have already been extended once at the East end. It may be possible to extend them further. A proper survey would need to take place as the entire of Temple Meads including some of the track areas are constructed on top of brick and stone arches. It’s all one big wide viaduct, part of which is over the river below (which you can clearly see on an aerial view). It’s all above the natural ground level, hence why the incline exists. The local paper has an article about the arches here https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/history/take-walk-through-secret-tunnels-1091966.

The fact that it’s all built on brick and stone arches may affect any attempt to convert the engine spurs between platforms 5 and 7 to a bay platform capable of taking anything longer than a two car DMU. And if a longer bay was wanted, providing this short section of track is likely to be rather more expensive than it at first appears, as it’s likely extensive structural work would be needed.

In any event, the No.2 ‘engine’ middle spur is currently very rarely used, as it’s points are controlled from a ground frame.

Some work has already taken place:

The connection to the old In/Out road (siding), this is the remains of the track to the old Bath Road Diesel depot. This has already been taken out of use.

The Temple Meads end connection to Kingsland Road sidings has also been taken out of use. The only access to these sidings is via Kingsland Road ground frame at North Somerset Junction. Mind, the points in the sidings were considered worn out and life expired many years ago. Half of the double compound points have been clipped out of use for at least five years.

The remains of Bristol East relay room (used by the Bristol PSB signalling system until a couple of years ago), which was the last remaining part of the old Bristol East Box has been demolished.

A new 11kV cable and switchgear and transformer has been provided to replace the existing 11kV electrical switchgear and transformer. And the building this was contained in has also been demolished (it was next to the relay room mentioned above). Some of the new cable route can be seen in aerial views from say Google maps as a line of yellow boards in the up cess going back to the station.

A new signal gantry has been erected. During one of the possessions, the existing 1970s East gantry will be taken down.

If you look at the track diagrams posted above, one feature that you should take notice of is that there are less points, crossings and crossovers. That’s actually one of the main drivers here, They are not really adding any extra flexibility, they want to simplify the layout so that there are less points and crossings to maintain.

In terms of capacity, although adding the sixth running line will help, its actually not very common to see the existing five lines being used simultaneously anyway. Typically you usually only see three simultaneous movements at any one time. Indeed around ten years ago a track circuit failure closed part of the middle line (Down Filton Main) between the gantry and the platforms and the signaller managed to run every train around it without any significant delay being caused.
 
Last edited:

Top