Platforms installed at new rail station

New platforms have been installed during round the clock construction work at the new Ashley Down railway station, ready for when it’s due to open next year.

Work on a footbridge and station buildings is due to start soon.

Network Rail says the new platforms were built during a two week construction period in June when work was carried out 24 hours a day, including moving the existing tracks.

The station is part of the West of England Combined Authority-funded MetroWest programme to re-open rails links in the city, and open seven new stations.

Ashley Down station is in Phase Two of the project. It will eventually see the Henbury line reopened to passenger trains, with two other new stations at North Filton and Henbury. They will run regular services to Temple Meads.

Michael Contopoulos, Network Rail’s project director, thanked local residents for their patience during the round-the-clock construction work.

He said: “We worked 24/7 for 16 days, removing and realigning the track before installing the two new platforms, constructed from pre-fabricated blocks. During this period we also worked on the foundations for the footbridge and lifts that will be installed in follow up shifts later this year.

“As with any project of this scale, some disturbance is unavoidable, however I’d like to assure residents that we’re doing all we can to keep this to a minimum.”

The station is on the site of the previous Ashley Hill Station, which was closed in 1964. It will have an entrance off the Concorde Way walking and cycling route, where it meets Station Road, and on Station Lane, off Muller Road.

Network Rail said the upgrades at Ashley Down followed improvements to the existing rail network in recent years, including the installation of a new, modern signalling system in and around Bristol Temple Meads, the addition of two new railway lines between Bristol Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood, and the upgrade of Bristol East Junction.

WECA says MetroWest aims to improve capacity and connectivity in the region, giving 80,000 more people access to train services.

City Council Cabinet Member for Transport Don Alexander said the MetroWest project was bringing Bristol’s first new train stations in almost a century. 

He said: “Expanding the local rail network through the MetroWest programme will increase both the capacity of the network and the accessibility of our local rail services, as we build towards the mass transit system that Bristolians need and deserve.”