Network Rail Thank Passengers For Patience

Network Rail photo of track being lowered into pla

Network Rail and Great Western Railway (GWR) are thanking passengers and local people for their patience after the train line between Bristol and Bath was closed for more than a week.

It was shut for the latest phase of work by Network Rail to prepare for new electric trains to start running on the Great Western Main Line in the next couple of years.

It meant commuters had to choose between replacement buses, using extra Park and Ride services or drive to work for a week.

Photo by Network Rail of lowering of the track bet

Network Rail say this phase of work included lowering the tracks at Keynsham station to protect the historic footbridge, while creating the extra space needed for the overhead electric lines. They also replaced the tracks at Oldfield Park station and installed the foundations for the overhead electric lines.

The work also involved:

Over 500 members of what Network Rail call their 'orange army', working 24 hours a day
The installation of 10,000 tons of ballast (the stones under the track)
The removal of 12,000 tons of waste material
The installation of 1,500 new railway sleepers
The use of seven engineering trains
The use of over 25 buses to keep passengers moving during the work, and an additional 49 staff to provide advice and guidance.

Andy Haynes, Network Rail’s project director for the west of England, said: "I’d like to thank passengers and the local community for their patience and understanding while we completed these essential upgrades. These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more legroom, and less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway. Faster journeys and the ability to move more people by train will also benefit businesses in the area, helping to drive economic growth across the south west."

Rob Mullen, GWR’s general manager central, said: "We are grateful for the patience and understanding shown by passengers as this vital work took place. The improvements being made will bring Brunel’s railway into the 21st century, paving the way for new electric trains. These trains will make the most of electrification, providing passengers with more seats, more frequent services and faster journeys, and a step change in customer experience."