Network Rail has substantially completed its first key phase of work to create a new entrance at Bristol Temple Meads, providing passengers with a gateway to the east of the city and the new Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone.
Work on this first part of the £20m West of England Combined Authority-funded project took place simultaneously with the upgrade to Bristol East Junction, utilising the time to complete the work while train services weren’t running and avoiding further disruption to passengers.
Network Rail’s engineers and contractors BAM Nuttall installed 18 concrete piles to a depth of over 20 metres into the ground under platform 15 to support the new structure. A 750-tonne crane was used to lift pre-cast concrete units into place to create a bridge that allowed for the track to be re-laid on top and trains to pass overhead again.
The new eastern entrance is being built at the far end of the existing passenger subway and once complete, will improve access to Bristol Temple Meads allowing a higher volume of passengers to enter and exit the station to the east of the city via the development site on Cattle Market Road, which is where the University of Bristol’s planned Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus will be located.
The development of the eastern entrance and wider improvements at Bristol Temple Meads will also support Bristol City Council’s regeneration plans for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone by ensuring Bristol Temple Meads station becomes a key transport hub, making it easier for passengers to get around the city and improving connectivity in the West of England region.
The second part of this work is due to start this autumn and includes plans to install a new ticket gate and a small entry building which is currently being designed.
This work is all part of the wider Bristol Rail Regeneration programme that will see a number of improvements to the iconic Bristol Temple Meads station over the next three years, representing a major investment in sustainable transport in the region and creating a major transport hub that will serve millions of passengers each year and support business right across the region.
Dan Norris, West of England Metro Mayor, said: “If we are to meet our ambitious 2030 net zero target we need our public transport network to be much better than it is. Getting people on to trains is a key goal. We are proposing £350m for transport over the next 20 years. These are significant changes which will take many years to complete, but the wheels are being set in motion.”
Daniel Parkes, Network Rail Programme Manager – Capital Delivery Building & Civils, said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed the first stage of our work to create a new, eastern entrance for Bristol Temple Meads.
“We maximised the opportunity to install the piles and pre-cast units while our colleagues were completing the Bristol East Junction upgrade and train services were not running, meaning we will not need to disrupt passengers on a separate occasion.
“This is a really exciting project that once complete, will open up the station to the east of the city and play a key role in offering access to the future supporting rail travel.”
Phil Bowcock, Operations Manager, BAM Nuttall said: “BAM Nuttall has been renewing, restoring and improving access to Britain’s Railway for over 20 years. We understand the value of railway heritage but also recognise the need to modernise our infrastructure in order to meet passenger expectations, unlock economic improvement and offer environmentally friendly sustainable solutions.
“Bristol Temple Meads is a station steeped in history and it’s a real privilege to contribute towards the next phase of its development. On completion of the Eastern entrance, the railway will, once again be a catalyst for development within Bristol and we are proud to play a small part in that.”