Network Rail’s Programme Director for the Western Route, Jon Davies has outlined the important work already completed in the Bristol region and what is to come in future.
Mr Davies described this particular time as “exciting” because of the large scale transformation work that will change rail travel for future generations.
Bristol will benefit from what Network Rail described as “the biggest ever signalling upgrade in and around Temple Meads,” as part of £118 million worth of Easter improvements.
Train services between Bristol and London Paddington will be more frequent from next year.
Mr Davies said 500 staff will be working on this resignalling project and will test, install and activate more than 500 pieces of complex equipment.
He said this investment is “absolutely crucial” to bring about the capacity improvements needed.
“Not only will the new system be more reliable, but it will also be able to cope with an even busier network. From 2019, it will support a significant increase in train services, ensuring a safe and efficient railway, managed from the state-of-the-art Thames Valley Signalling Centre at Didcot.
Already, Great Western Railway (GWR) has achieved the feat of offering in excess of 3,000 more seats than this time last year, because of new trains on the route.
Mr Davies explained the second major project that will be undertaken in the region, with completion expected at the end of the year.
The Filton Bank four-tracking project will add two lines between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood. This will mean more services in the local area.
Mr Davies also looked further ahead, explaining how the signalling system will bring even more benefits.
He said: “Looking further ahead to the future; our updated signalling system is also necessary if we are going to expand the network. With bids for funding in place for our aspirational Metro West scheme, the upgrade this Easter will give us greater signalling capability.”