MULTI-MILLION POUND REMODELLING OF BRISTOL BOTTLENECK
The Strategic Rail Authority has announced major improvements to one of the national rail network’s bottlenecks — Filton Junction, north of Bristol and just west of Bristol Parkway. Filton Junction connects the mainline linking Bristol with Cardiff with the cross-country trunk route linking the Midlands and North with South-West England.
Work on the multi-million project, specified by the SRA — and to be delivered by Network Rail — will begin in August 2003 and is due to be completed in September 2004. The scheme provides for a remodelling of Filton Junction to allow parallel movements between the Bristol Temple Meads and Cardiff directions, as well as a new third running line and platform face at the increasingly busy station at Filton Abbey Wood.
At present, the double-track South Wales route is connected to the Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway route via a crossover, single lead (track section) and single to double connection, creating a bottle-neck that prevents parallel movements to/from the South Wales route.
The objective of this scheme is to eliminate this bottleneck and provide greater operational flexibility a t the junction, said the SRA adding that the project will lead to:
- Reduced journey time on certain services;
- Improved safety as the main stretch of bi-directional line is removed;
- Improved performance through Filton Junction: through trains will no longer be required to wait for a Cardiff bound train stopping at Filton Abbey Wood to clear the junction;
- Improved operational flexibility through Filton Junction with a 10-15% increase in capacity.