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Bristol East junction reopened

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The major upgrade of Bristol East junction, which will remove a bottleneck into Bristol Temple Meads station, has been completed.

Track and components dating from the 1960s have been replaced, allowing more trains to enter and exit the station, increase capacity, reduce congestion and help make journeys more reliable.

Funded by the Department for Transport to the tune of £132 million, the project ran for eight weeks from 10 July 2021. A total of 50 engineering trains were needed to replace over five kilometres of track, install over 300 track panels and lay around 26,000 tonnes of ballast.

Work in progress in August 2021 – the new signal gantry is in place but has yet to be fitted with its signals..

As well as replacing the old track, an additional line has been introduced which paves the way to support new suburban services in the future as part of the West of England Combined Authority’s (WECA) MetroWest scheme. Once complete, this scheme will provide over 4,000 additional seats on trains every day in the area, making Bristol Temple Meads a key transport hub in the western region.

During the course of the project, an old signalling gantry was removed and replaced by a new one that was installed over Christmas 2020.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail.

Mike Gallop, Network Rail’s Western route director, said: “This was a highly complex piece of engineering that has taken several years to plan.

“The upgrade of Bristol East Junction is just one aspect of our wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme of work that is transforming the station and railway in Bristol for the benefit of passengers, the city and West of England region.”

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