Bristol rail investment to see tracks reinstated

Electric train Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption The electrification of the line between Bristol and London is part of the package announced by Network Rail

Reinstating four tracks between Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads is part of a £700m investment in the city's railway infrastructure.

Network Rail has announced 31 projects in the city over the next five years including the electrification of the line between Bristol and London.

Doubling the track has been described as "fundamental" to the expansion of services in and around Bristol.

It will also allow for extra high speed trains between Bristol and London.

New platforms

"Reinstating the four lines between Temple Meads and Parkway is the arterial route around which the rest of the Bristol growing railway is going to be hung," said Mike Gallop, Network Rail's Route Asset Director.

The new tracks will be built on Filton Bank, making it possible for local passenger services to use the line.

"It's a very significant first step but it is a first step," said Rob Dixon from the campaign group Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways.

"Without this investment there can be no improvements in local services - things like the reopening of the line to Portishead, the Henbury Loop, improvements on the Severn Beach line and from Weston to Yate - which all need extra capacity and without that they just couldn't run. So these changes are a first step to what we want and need to see."

Charlotte Leslie, Conservative MP for Bristol North West, has campaigned for the reopening of the Henbury Loop.

"The four-tracking of Filton Bank is the basic infrastructure which makes other things possible," said Ms Leslie.

"But what I'd like to see is more ambition in getting Henbury station and Henbury Loop and our network of rail around the city open faster because Bristol is growing and our transport infrastructure isn't keeping up."

The package also includes building new platforms at Bristol Parkway and upgrading Bristol Temple Meads station.

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