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Rail transport in Bristol

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Title: Rail transport in Bristol  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Severn Beach Line, Bristol Port Railway and Pier
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rail transport in Bristol

There are three train operating companies in Bristol: CrossCountry, First Great Western and South West Trains.

Bristol Area Railway Map

Services in Bristol

  • Bristol - Manchester
  • Plymouth - Edinburgh
  • Bristol Parkway - Weston-super-Mare
  • Cardiff - Portsmouth
  • Gloucester - Westbury/South Coast
  • Cardiff Central - Taunton
  • Bristol Temple Meads - Severn Beach
  • Bristol - London Waterloo
  • Bristol - London Paddington (via Bath Spa)
  • Swansea - London Paddington (via Bristol Parkway)

Stations in Bristol

Some of these stations are in South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.

Stations in the Bristol area:

Current stations

Station Line(s) Platforms Usage 04/05 [1] Usage 05/06 [2] Usage 06/07 [3] Usage 07/08 [4] Usage 08/09 [5] Usage 09/10 [6] Usage 10/11 [7] Usage 11/12 Operated by Image
Avonmouth Severn Beach 2 Decrease 33,815 Increase 43,365 Increase 47,834 Decrease 44,468 Increase 61,948 Increase 68,448 Increase 83,674 Increase 88,642 First Great Western
Bedminster Bristol to Exeter 3 Increase 32,489 Increase 40,917 Increase 43,379 Decrease 43,145 Increase 58,690 Increase 69,898 Increase 70,006 Increase 76,420 First Great Western
Bristol Parkway Cross Country Route
South Wales Main Line
3 Increase 1,456,350 Increase 1,633,280 Increase 1,789,848 Increase 1,897,941 Increase 2,084,200 Decrease 2,041,548 Increase 2,114,876 First Great Western
Bristol Temple Meads Bristol to Exeter
Cross Country Route
Great Western Main Line
Severn Beach
Wessex Main Line
Heart of Wessex
13 Increase 5,641,372 Increase 6,066,239 Increase 6,548,859 Increase 7,082,098 Increase 7,829,628 Increase 7,875,686 Increase 8,409,340 First Great Western
Clifton Down Severn Beach Line 2 Decrease 141,838 Increase 153,027 Increase 180,656 Increase 204,397 Increase 281,876 Increase 361,828 Increase 433,088 First Great Western
Filton Abbey Wood Cross Country Route 3 401,325 Increase 410,630 Increase 457,611 Increase 536,958 Increase 598,032 Increase 679,270 First Great Western
Keynsham Great Western Main Line
Wessex Main Line
Heart of Wessex Line
2 249,842 278,850 First Great Western
Lawrence Hill Cross Country Route
Severn Beach Line
2 55,865 68,371 55,730 67,338 74,876 First Great Western
Montpelier Severn Beach Line 1 73,573 76,969 60,629 84,834 96,114 First Great Western
Parson Street Bristol to Exeter Line 2 14,293 19,172 32,511 46,670 57,374 First Great Western
Patchway South Wales Main Line 2 33,957 42,463 44,929 45,280 49,812 First Great Western
Pilning South Wales Main Line 2 Increase 245 Decrease 117 Increase 159 Decrease 125 Increase 130 Increase 166 Increase 178 First Great Western
Redland Severn Beach Line 1 55,529 66,852 61,394 86,234 86,426 First Great Western
Sea Mills Severn Beach Line 1 36,411 40,786 33,222 36,358 41,680 First Great Western
Shirehampton Severn Beach Line 1 31,539 38,493 30,893 34,292 35,758 First Great Western
St Andrews Road Severn Beach Line 1 4,969 8,008 5,518 3,183 3,582 3,942 4,328 First Great Western
Stapleton Road Cross Country Route
Severn Beach Line
2 86,997 Increase 98,446 Decrease 72,182 Increase 103,576 Increase 111,532 First Great Western
Yate Cross Country Route 2 First Great Western

Possible new stations

Stations that are planned or wanted in the Bristol area.

Station Line Platforms
Ashley Hill Cross Country Route 2
Ashton Gate Portishead Branch 1
Hallen Henbury loop line 1 or 2
Henbury Henbury loop line 1 or 2
Horfield Cross Country Route 2
North Filton Henbury loop line 1 or 2
Pill Portishead Branch 1
Portbury Portishead Branch 1
Portishead Portishead Branch 1
A4 Portway Park & Ride[8] Severn Beach Line 1

Disused railway stations

Disused stations within the Bristol area.

Station Line Platforms Year closed Image
Ashley Hill Cross Country Route 2 1964
Ashton Gate Portishead Railway 1
Avonmouth (BPRP) Severn Beach Line
Avonmouth Docks Severn Beach Line
Avonmouth (Royal Edward) Severn Beach Line
Brislington Bristol and North Somerset Railway
Bristol St Philips Bristol and Gloucester Railway 1 1967
Charlton Halt Henbury Loop 2 1915
Chittening Platform Henbury Loop 1964
Clifton Bridge Portishead Railway 2 1965
Coalpit Heath South Wales Main Line
Cross Country Route
Cross Hands Halt Severn Beach Line
Filton Cross Country Route
Filton Junction Cross Country Route
Fishponds Bristol and Gloucester Railway 2 1966
Hallen Halt Henbury Loop 2 1918
Ham Green Halt Portishead Railway 1 1964
Henbury Henbury Loop 2 1965
Horfield Cross Country Route 2 1964
Hotwells Bristol Port Railway and Pier 2 1921
Hotwells Halt Bristol Port Railway and Pier 1 1922
Kelston Mangotsfield Branch Line 2 1949
Long Ashton Bristol to Exeter Line 2 1941
Mangotsfield Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line
Bristol and Gloucester Railway
6 1966
New Passage Halt Severn Beach Line
New Passage Pier Severn Beach Line
Nightingale Valley Halt Portishead Railway 1 1932
North Filton Platform Henbury Loop
Pill Portishead Railway 2 1964
Portbury Portishead Railway 1 1962
Portishead Portishead Railway 2 1964
Saltford Great Western Main Line 2 1970
St Anne's Park Great Western Main Line 2 1970
Staple Hill Bristol and Gloucester Railway 2 1966
Warmley Mangotsfield and Bath Branch Line 2 1966
Whitchurch Halt Bristol and North Somerset Railway
Winterbourne South Wales Main Line
Cross Country Route
2 1963

Railway lines

There are six railway lines running through Bristol.

Bristol to Exeter Line

Main article: Bristol to Exeter Line

The Bristol to Exeter Line runs between Bristol and Exeter via the Nailsea, Weston-super-Mare, Bridgwater and Taunton. It is served by local First Great Western services, and used by Cross-Country and Intercity trains headed towards Plymouth.

Cross-Country Route

Main article: Cross-Country route

The North-East/South-West route (sometimes simply The Cross-Country Route) is the major British rail route running from South West England or Cardiff via Bristol, Birmingham, Derby and Sheffield to North-East England and Scotland. It includes some of the longest inter-city rail journeys in the UK, e.g. Penzance to Aberdeen) It remains a major freight route, although now largely usurped by the M5, M6 and M1 motorways.

The route shares parts of the Great Western Main Line, Midland Main Line, Sheffield to Hull Line, the East Coast Main Line and the core Cardiff-Bristol-Birmingham-Derby route,

Great Western Main Line

The Great Western Main Line is a main line railway in England that runs westwards from London Paddington station to Temple Meads station in Bristol.

Severn Beach Line

Main article: Severn Beach Line

The route runs from Temple Meads to Severn Beach via Lawrence Hill, Stapleton Road, Montpelier, Redland, Clifton Down, Sea Mills, Shirehampton, Avonmouth, St Andrews Road before reaching terminus at Severn Beach. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes.

Following a successful campaign by FOSBR (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railway), the Severn Beach Line is going to have an increased frequency from December 2007 to March 2010.[9] It is hoped this will pave the way for better services across the conurbation. An additional train will operate on the line meaning services should be at the least every 40 mins.

South Wales Main Line

Main article: South Wales Main Line

The South Wales Main Line is a branch of the Great Western Main Line in the UK. It diverges from the main line at Wootton Bassett near Swindon, first calling at Bristol Parkway, after which the line continues through the Severn Tunnel into South Wales.

Wessex Main Line

Main article: Wessex Main Line

The Wessex Main Line is the railway line from Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton. Diverging from this route is the Heart of Wessex Line from Westbury to Weymouth.

Main destinations

There is usually a direct service from Bristol to these destinations:

Destination Time from
Temple Meads
Time from
Bath Spa 10–17 minutes 28–46 minutes First Great Western / South West Trains
Bristol Parkway 8–19 minutes N/A CrossCountry / First Great Western
Bristol Temple Meads N/A 9–20 minutes CrossCountry / First Great Western
Birmingham New Street 85–106 minutes 72–96 minutes CrossCountry
Cardiff Central 46–66 minutes 37–64 minutes First Great Western
Exeter St Davids 58–104 minutes 70–108 minutes CrossCountry / First Great Western
Gloucester 38–55 minutes 28–41 minutes CrossCountry / First Great Western
Leeds 211–225 minutes 201–215 minutes CrossCountry
London Paddington 96–153 minutes 83–103 minutes First Great Western
London Waterloo 174 minutes N/A South West Trains
Manchester Piccadilly 178–179 minutes 168–169 minutes CrossCountry
Newcastle 299–307 minutes CrossCountry
Newport 30–48 minutes First Great Western
Plymouth 117–167 minutes CrossCountry / First Great Western
Portsmouth Harbour 150–166 minutes First Great Western
Reading 69–119 minutes First Great Western
Salisbury 67–86 minutes First Great Western / South West Trains
Severn Beach 37 minutes N/A First Great Western
Southampton Central 100–116 minutes First Great Western
Swindon 35–51 minutes First Great Western
Taunton 31–72 minutes CrossCountry / First Great Western

Train operators

Current train operators

Operator Years Image Major services
CrossCountry 2007–2016
First Great Western 1996–2006
South West Trains 1996–2003

Former train operators

Operator Years Image Services
British Rail 1948–1986 All services
InterCity 1986–1996
Regional Railways 1986–1996 All non-InterCity services
Great Western Trains 1996–1998
Virgin CrossCountry 1997–2007
Wales and Borders 2001–2003
Wales and West 1997–2001
Wessex Trains 2001–2006 All local and non-express inter-city services.

There have also been a number of other companies pre-nationalisation, including:

Greater Bristol Metro scheme

Main article: Greater Bristol Metro

This scheme is a proposal to improve the rail services in Greater Bristol. It was first proposed at First Great Western's Stakeholder Event in March 2008, and received political backing in 2012.

See also


External links

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