Severn Beach Line

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Severn Beach Line
Overview
Type Commuter rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Bristol, South Gloucestershire
Termini Bristol Temple Meads
51°26′57″N 2°34′49″W / 51.4492°N 2.5803°W / 51.4492; -2.5803 (Bristol Temple Meads station)
Severn Beach
51°33′36″N 2°39′52″W / 51.5599°N 2.6645°W / 51.5599; -2.6645 (Severn Beach station)
Stations 11
Operation
Opening 1840 (Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol West Junction)
1863 (Bristol West Junction to Narroways Hill Junction, Bristol Port Railway and Pier)
1875 (Narroways Hill Junction to Clifton Down)
1877 (Clifton Down Tunnel)
1900 (Avonmouth to Pilning)
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) First Great Western
Depot(s) St Philips Marsh T&RSMD
Rolling stock Class 150 "Sprinter"
Class 153 "Super Sprinter"
Class 158 "Express Sprinter"
Technical
No. of tracks Four (Bristol Temple Meads to Dr Days Junction)
Two (Dr Days Junction to Narroways Junction, Clifton Down, Avonmouth)
One (elsewhere)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Severn Beach Line
South Wales Main Line
16.03 Pilning (9.40 via Patchway)
15.10 Cross Hands Halt
New Passage Pier
14.55 New Passage Halt
Severn Tunnel
South Wales Main Line
13.54 Severn Beach
11.05 Henbury Loop
Avonmouth Docks
10.06 St Andrews Road (12.04 via Henbury)
Avonmouth Dock sidings
9.01 Avonmouth
M5 Motorway
Portway(proposed)
7.50 Shirehampton
River Trym
6.00 Sea Mills
5.59 Bristol Port Railway and Pier
Clifton Down Tunnel(1,751 yards (1,601 m))
3.72 Clifton Down
3.25 Redland
Redland Viaduct
2.68 Montpelier
Montpelier Tunnel(288 yards (263 m))
Cross Country Route
2.35 Bristol and Gloucester Railway
2.03 Narroways Hill Junction
M32 Motorway
Stapleton Road Viaduct
1.61 Stapleton Road goods branch
1.50 Stapleton Road
Bristol and Gloucester Railway
1.22 Avonside Branch
1.04 Lawrence Hill
0.31 Great Western Main Line
0.00 Bristol Temple Meads
Bristol to Exeter Line

The Severn Beach Line is a local railway line in Bristol and South Gloucestershire, England. It runs from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach, and used to extend to Pilning.[1] The first sections of the line were opened in 1863 as part of the Bristol Port Railway and Pier, the section through Bristol was opened in 1875 as the Clifton Extension Railway. The line has faced several threats of closure over the years, and has been reduced to single track in many places.[2] In recent years however it has experienced a surge in passenger numbers, with a 90% increase in the years 2007–11.[3] All services along the line are operated by First Great Western, mainly one train in each direction between Avonmouth and Temple Meads every 40 minutes, calling at all stations, with one train every two hours extended to Severn Beach. The line carries little freight traffic, with most of the heavy freight traffic to Avonmouth Docks being routed via the Henbury Loop Line through Filton. The line has been highlighted by Thomas Cook as one of the scenic lines of Europe.[4]

Route[edit]

From Bristol Temple Meads, the line heads east, diverging from the Great Western Main Line, Wessex Main Line and Heart of Wessex Line at Bristol East Junction. The line curves to the north, passing under the A4320 and then joining with a chord from the Great Western Main Line at Dr Day's Junction. At this point there are four tracks, but this narrows to two before Lawrence Hill. Continuing north, the line passes under the old Midland Railway Bristol to Gloucester Line, passes through Stapleton Road, then diverges west from the Cross Country Route at Narroways Hill Junction. The line from here is single track, passing through some woodlands and circling the St Werburghs area, passing under the B4052 (Ashley Hill) before reaching Montpelier. The line then passes over the A38 Gloucester Road on a viaduct known as "The Arches", before reaching Redland and passing along a straight cutting through Cotham before reaching Clifton Down. This is the line's main passing point, as it is one of the few remaining places with double track. The line then enters the mile-long Clifton Down Tunnel, reappearing in the Avon Gorge. The line follows the river, passing through Sea Mills before heading inland to Shirehampton, past the Portway Park and Ride, under the M5 Avonmouth Bridge and through an industrial estate before reaching Avonmouth. Avonmouth has a passing loop, but is not often used as a passing place. Beyond Avonmouth, the line passes through a small residential area before reaching Avonmouth Docks. A freight yard is to the east of the line here, used for coal trains. St Andrews Road is within the yard, and to the north the Henbury Loop Line diverges to the east. The Severn Beach Line continues north along the banks of the River Severn to the terminus at Severn Beach.[5][6][7][8]

Beyond Severn Beach, the line used to continue north through the town and along the banks of the Severn, meeting the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway's line near New Passage Pier. It then joined with the South Wales Main Line at Pilning.[5][6][7][8]

The line has been listed among Thomas Cook's most favoured attractions for its scenic route along the River Avon and River Severn.[4]

Services[edit]

Services along the line are all operated by First Great Western, mainly using diesel Class 150 Sprinter units, occasionally supplemented by Class 153 Super Sprinter and Class 158 Express Sprinter units.[9][10] Until 2012, Class 143 Pacer units were a regular sight, but these have been moved south to work in Devon following a cascade of Class 150/1 units from London Midland and London Overground.[10][11] Monday to Friday, three trains every two hours run from Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth, with one extended to St Andrew's Road and Severn Beach, giving a service at Clifton Down of one train in each direction every 40 minutes. Most services start at Bristol, but one evening service to Avonmouth begins at Weston-super-Mare.[12][13] On Saturdays there is a similar level of service, but more trains continue to Severn Beach. Sunday sees a roughly hourly service to and from Bristol, with only two services extending to Severn Beach, except during the May–September timetable period, when all services are extended. The first and last Sunday trains towards Bristol are extended to Taunton via Weston-super-Mare, and there are similar workings in the other direction.[12][13]

Clifton Down is the line's main passing point, so trains to Avonmouth usually arrive at the same time as trains to Bristol Temple Meads. Most trains trains call at all stations, but some services omit Lawrence Hill. St Andrew's Road is a request stop. The typical journey time from Temple Meads to Avonmouth is 28 minutes, and 37 minutes to Severn Beach.[13] The line has a zonal fare system, the first zone from Temple Meads to Clifton Down, the second from Clifton Down to Severn Beach. In 2012, the single fare within a zone was £1.50 and a return £2.00; a whole line ticket cost £2 single and £3 return. Weekly season tickets were £6 and £9 respectively.[10][12]

History[edit]

The Bristol Port Railway and Pier[edit]

Bristol sits on the River Avon, with its docks several miles inland. By the 19th century, ships had grown to such a size that navigating the Avon was not possible any more, and so ships would have to dock at the head of the river at Avonmouth instead. The Bristol Port Railway and Pier company (BPRP) was founded in 1862 with the intent to build a single-track standard gauge railway the 5.75 miles (9.25 km) from Avonmouth to the city centre alongside the Avon. The railway's act of parliament was passed on 17 July 1862, and the railway opened on 6 March 1865, running from a terminus called Clifton in the Avon Gorge. As built the railway was isolated from the rest of the national network, having not been intended for anything more than local traffic, so a connection to the main line railways was needed in order to develop Avonmouth as a port. However, due to the position of Clifton station and the large amount of developed land in the Hotwells area, an extension towards Bristol Temple Meads, the city's main station, would have been prohibitively expensive. Instead, a link was proposed from the BPRP at Sneyd Park, running under Clifton Down and through the suburbs to connect to the main lines of the Midland and Bristol and South Wales Union railways. The connection was authorised in 1867, but the BPRP was in financial difficulties, and so unable to complete the line. It entered into negotiations with the Midland and Great Western Railways (the latter now the owner of the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway).[14]

Clifton Extension Railway[edit]

The Clifton Extension Railway initially ran from Clifton Down to Narroways Hill Junction with what is now the Cross Country Route north through Bristol, then part of the Great Western Railway; and over a viaduct from Narroways Hill to the Midland Railway's Bristol to Gloucester Line near Fishponds. The line was managed by the Clifton Extension Railway Joint Committee, but in 1894 responsibility was passed to the Great Western & Midland Railways Joint Committee.[14] Services began to Clifton Down on 1 October 1874.[15]

The initial service provided by the Midland Railway was between Clifton Down, Fishponds and Mangotsfield, where passengers could change for services to Bath, Birmingham and other Midland destinations. The Great Western provided services from Clifton Down to Bristol Temple Meads, the city's major station, where passengers could change for trains to London, Exeter and Wales, among others. The Great Western also provided occasional through services to Weston-super-Mare. There were a total of 23 trains in each direction between the two companies Monday-Saturday.[15] On Sundays, there was no Midland service, but seven Great Western trains.[16] The fare to Temple Meads was 6d first-class and 3d third-class.[14] The Clifton Down Tunnel, the final link to the Bristol Port Railway and Pier, was opened in 1877, initially allowing freight trains to reach Avonmouth Docks. It was not until 1885 that it was cleared for passenger use, which allowed services to Avonmouth via Sea Mills and Shirehampton. There was a trial Midland service between Bristol St Philip's and Avonmouth in September 1885, but this was ended after a month.[15] In 1886, the daily Great Western service was six trains each way between Avonmouth and Temple Meads, 24 trains from Clifton Down to Temple Meads and 26 the other direction. The Midland provided 12 services from Clifton Down to Fishponds, and 11 back.[16]

There was not initially a station at Redland, but there was local support, with several petitions submitted to the line's Joint Railway Committee. The first was received in October 1885, but was rejected due to the estimated cost of £3,410 to provide the station. A second petition was rejected eighteen months later. The Bristol Chamber of Commerce petitioned for a station in 1892, but the Committee again rejected the request, stating that estimated traffic levels would not justify the expense. It took until 1896 until a revised plan was accepted by the Committee.[15] The station finally opened on 12 April 1897.[17]

In 1910, Clifton Down saw 17 Great Western services from Avonmouth to Temple Meads and 15 the other way, a further 20 trains each day operating between Clifton and Temple Meads, and 13 Midland trains each way between Clifton and Fishponds or Mangotsfield. Midland services were suspended from 1 January 1917 to 15 May 1919 due to the First World War.[15] The Hotwells section of the Bristol Port Railway and Pier closed in 1922, so to compensate, an additional six trains were provided from Clifton Down to Avonmouth, and four back.[16]

In 1923, grouping resulted in the Midland Railway being absorbed into the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), and the line continued in a joint arrangement between the Great Western and the LMS.[14] From 1924, many trains to Avonmouth were extended to Severn Beach, a growing seaside resort, and some on to Pilning, then back to Temple Meads via Patchway.[10][16] The Second World War saw the end of services to Fishponds and Mangotsfield, the last operating on 31 March 1941.[15] By 1947, just before the start of the British Rail era, there were 33 services each direction between Avonmouth and Temple Meads, and 18 on Sundays.[16] Some trains made circular trips to and from Temple Meads via Clifton Down and Henbury or Pilning.[10][15]

British Rail[edit]

A single-car DMU operating a Severn Beach Line service at Lawrence Hill in the 1970s.
BREL concept railbus LEV3 on an evaluation run at Stapleton Road in 1981.

When the railways were nationalised in 1948, the Severn Beach Line came under the aegis of the Western Region of British Railways.[14] Passenger numbers however dropped sharply in 1961 as the result of a fare increase, and so in 1962 a new reduced timetable was enacted, which lost more passengers, and saw the withdrawal of a special schoolchildren's service.[16] A year later in 1963, the Beeching report suggested that all services along the line be withdrawn. Following meetings with staff, it was decided to keep the line open to Severn Beach, but to close the section to Pilning, and also end services via Henbury.[14] These services duly ended, but the line was still threatened, and on 10 February 1967, when it was announced that all services between Stapleton Road and Severn Beach would be discontinued. An enquiry followed, and in June that year the decision was reversed, on the condition that tickets be issued on the trains. Thus, on 17 July 1967, all stations along the line, other than Temple Meads, had their staff withdrawn.[14][15] The decrease of costs allowed a reduction of ticket prices, but the line was still under threat until in June 1969 it was decided that the line's closure would result in significant hardship, and so a grant was allocated to ensure continued services.[14] Most of the line was reduced to single track in late 1970, leaving Clifton Down as one of the few passing places.[15]

In 1971 the weekday service was 20 trains in each direction, 19 calling at all stations between Bristol Temple Meads and Severn Beach and 1 train that terminated at St Andrews Road.[18]

On 20 October 1981, the Severn Beach Line saw one of the first uses of a railbus on passenger services, when BREL Railbus RB003 operated the 10:08 service from Bristol Temple Meads. The first railbus concept, LEV1, would begin operations on the line less than a week later.[19] Later model Class 143 Pacer railbuses would be a regular sight on the line until 2012.[10][11]

British Rail was split into business-led sectors in the 1980s, at which time operations passed to Regional Railways. At this time, all trains ran to Severn Beach, but the service pattern was irregular.[10] The state of the line was brought up in Parliament in 1990 by MP for Bristol North West Michael Stern, who asked why British Rail was not willing to publicise the line and protect the frequency of services. Cecil Parkinson MP, then-Secretary of State for Transport, replied that the line was using "out-of-date, worn-out rolling stock" due to late deliveries from manufacturers, and that British Rail would not encourage people to use it until there was a better service.[20] In 1995, an hourly timetable was introduced for peak times, but services terminated at Avonmouth so that a single Sprinter unit could work the service. There was a better service on Saturdays as more rolling stock was available,[16] but there was no Sunday service.[21] Talk arose again of the line being closed completely.[21] Local tourism expert Bernard Lane described the line's state as

... the line the railway wished was not there. It was the line that got bus substitution whenever they were short of trains or queues, when a rugby match in Cardiff needed a special. It has a problem in that the route is slow and not very direct; for years it was invisible, short of marketing and lacking a regular interval timetable.[10]

Post-privatisation[edit]

Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways is one of the main campaign groups supporting the line. Here they stage a demonstration at Clifton Down, calling for an improved service.

When the railway was privatised in 1997, local services were franchised to Wales and West,[22] which was succeeded by Wessex Trains, an arm of National Express, in 2001.[23] Following action by Friends of Severn Beach Railway (FOSBR, later renamed Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways) and a string of protests, services had increased to 10 per day in each direction by 2005,[15] with Bristol City Council paying a subsidy of £138,000 per annum to fund services.[24] A new subsidy agreement had been reached in 2003, following a threat that the end of subsidy would see services along the line halved.[25] However, even with the subsidy, the line still suffered to keep the rest of the network running. Mike Holmes, station manager for most of the line's stations, told the Bristol Evening Post that

Before we put real effort into the Severn Beach line it was really the sacrificial lamb for other services. So if we needed a spare train, we would pull one off the line and cancel it, which was why punctuality and reliability was so poor. After the public campaign in 2006 we decided that we didn't want to take that to carry on any more.[26]

Protesters would chant "The Severn Beach is a mighty fine line; Clean and friendly and sometimes on time."[4]

The Wessex franchise was amalgamated with the Great Western franchise into the Greater Western franchise from 2006, and responsibility passed to First Great Western, a subsidiary company of First Group,[27][28][29] with a 1-hour minimum service requirement written into the new franchise agreement.[21] In 2007, the council agreed to subsidise a service of at least one train every 45mins in each direction along the line,[30] unanimously agreeing to pay £450,000 per annum to fund extra services from May 2008 for three years, which resulted in a 60% increase in passenger numbers along the line,[21][31] and a 25% year-on-year increase between June 2009 and June 2010.[32] Sunday services to Severn Beach were restored in 2010,[33] funded by South Gloucestershire Council.[34] The line was designated a community rail service in 2008.[35]

The council subsidy was halved in 2011 at the end of the three-year deal, with the council stating that with the large increase in passenger numbers, such a large subsidy was no longer necessary.[36] Local groups, including FOSBR and the Green Party claimed that services became less reliable following the cut, but First Great Western and the council stated that reliability problems were not due to the cut in subsidy, but instead due to breakdowns and track maintenance.[37] The council subsidies, for both increased services and Sunday services, are due to be replaced by national funding in 2015.[34] An additional evening service was agreed in February 2012, to start in September 2012, after protests about a 100-minute gap in the timetable.[38][39] The first train to operate this service was the 9.37 pm from Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth on 17 September 2012.[40]

Future[edit]

Four bidders pre-qualified for the 2013– Greater Western passenger franchise: clockwise from top left, Deutsche Bahn, First Group, Stagecoach Group and National Express.

First Great Western declined an option to continue the Greater Western passenger franchise (of which services along the Severn Beach Line are a part) beyond 2013, citing a desire for a longer-term contract due to the impending upgrade to the Great Western Main Line.[29] The franchise was put out to tender,[34][41][42] but the process was halted and later scrapped due to the fallout from the collapse of the InterCity West Coast franchise competition.[43] A two-year franchise extension until September 2015 was agreed in October 2013, following negotiations between First Great Western and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP.[44][45]

With the coming upgrade to the Great Western Main Line, the main line from London to Bristol is due to be electrified by 2016.[46] However, the electrification will not extend beyond the main lines, so the Severn Beach Line will continue to be served by diesel trains.[47] Stephen Williams, MP for Bristol West, questioned whether electrification could continue to Clifton Down. Then-Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond MP replied that it would have to be looked at in the future.[48] Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) supports the electrification of the entire Severn Beach Line.[49]

Improved services along the line are called for as part of the Greater Bristol Metro scheme, a rail transport plan which aims to enhance transport capacity in the Bristol area.[50][51] There is an aspiration for half-hourly services, however due to the large sections of single-track and the congested main line from Temple Meads, such frequency is not currently feasible.[52] However, it is expected that with the four-tracking of Filton Bank, including the Severn Beach Line between Temple Meads and Narroways Hill Junction, that there will be sufficient capacity to allow half-hourly services.[53] The Invitation to Tender for the new Greater Western franchise asks bidders to include costs for two trains per hour each direction on the Severn Beach Line, one between Severn Beach and Portishead, the other between Severn Beach and Bath Spa, both calling at all stations. These services are to run from December 2017, operating 18 hours a day Monday-Saturday and 9 hours a day on Sundays.[54]

The metro plan also calls for the reopening of the Henbury Loop Line, which could allow a service from Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway via the Severn Beach Line.[55] The metro scheme was given the go-ahead in July 2012 as part of the City Deal, whereby local councils would be given greater control over money by the government, however it is as yet unclear which elements will be implemented.[56] FOSBR and other local groups lodged concerns with the Department for Transport that the reopening of the Henbury Loop was not included in the ITT for the new Greater Western franchise.[57] A one-off service, operated by First Great Western, ran on the line on 27 July 2013,[58] but reopening is unlikely before 2018.[59]

It has been proposed that a station be built to serve the A4 Portway Park & Ride scheme. Such a station would be situated between Shirehampton and Avonmouth, where the line runs alongside the Park & Ride. The plan is supported by FOSBR and the Bristol branch of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.[60][61][62] The station is included in the Bristol Metro proposal.[51]

Passenger volume[edit]

Below are the passenger usage statistics from years starting April 2002 to April 2010. Comparing 2002 with later years has shown a general increase on the line in usage. The most recent figures have been attributed to an improved service.[63] The high usage at Clifton Down is due in part to its proximity to Bristol Zoo and a major shopping area.

Comparing April 2010 to April 2002, on the main line, Lawrence Hill and Stapleton Road have increased 73% and 59% respectively. On the branch line, the stations with the biggest changes were Severn Beach, Avonmouth and Clifton Down with 215%, 109% and 131% respectively. The lowest increase was at Shirehampton with only 13%. Sea Mills and St Andrews Road showed increases and 42% and 43% although St Andrews Road has shown a decline in numbers over the years, with the passing year showing an increase again. Finally, Montpelier and Redland have increased similarly at 80% and by 85%, respectively.[63]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.systemed.net/atlas/
  2. ^ http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browsedirectory.aspx?dir=%5Cbaseline%20capability%5Ctrack%20and%20route%20mileage,%20permissible%20line%20speeds&root
  3. ^ http://severnbeachline.org/news/community-rail-brings-improvements.php
  4. ^ a b c "BBC Inside Out – Bristol's Severn Beach Railway Line". BBC. 20 September 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Baker, S.K. (2010). Rail Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland (12 ed.). Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-86093-632-9. 
  6. ^ a b OS Landranger Map 172 – Bristol & Bath. Southampton: Ordnance Survey. 2008. ISBN 978-0-319-22914-9. 
  7. ^ a b Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: CNX Clifton Extension Line". Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: AMB Avonmouth Branch". Retrieved 23 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "First Great Western will add to service on successful Severn Bridge rail line". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 25 January 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h Salveson, Paul (June 2012). "Severn Beach: Not your typical branch line!". In Abell, Paul. Today's Railways (Sheffield: Platform 5) (126): 42–47. 
  11. ^ a b Miles, Tony (December 2010). "LOROL Class 150s all with FGW". Modern Railways (London). p. 90. 
  12. ^ a b c "Timetable 29: Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach; 14 May to 8 December 2012". First Great Western. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  13. ^ a b c "Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach". First Great Western. May 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h Maggs, Colin (1975). The Bristol Port Railway and Pier. The Oakwood Press. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Oakley, Mike (2006). Bristol Railway Stations 1840–2005. Redcliffe Press. ISBN 1-904537-54-5. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Maggs, Colin G (2008) [First published 1981]. Rail Centres: Bristol (#21) (3rd ed.). Nottingham: Booklaw Publications. pp. 41–42. ISBN 1-901945-30-8. 
  17. ^ Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 196. ISBN 1-8526-0508-1. OCLC 60251199. 
  18. ^ Western Region Passenger Services. London: British Railways Board. 1971. 
  19. ^ Booth, Chris (2009). "The BRE-Leyland Railbus concept". Today's Railways (December 2009): p35. 
  20. ^ "THE PARLIAMENTARY DEBATES – OFFICIAL REPORT IN THE THIRD SESSION OF THE FIFTIETH PARLIAMENT OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND, SIXTH SERIES VOLUME 178 SEVENTEENTH VOLUME OF SESSION 1989–90". Parliament of the United Kingdom. 22 October 1990. Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
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  22. ^ Frith, Malcolm (November 1999). "Track record: West and South-West". BBC. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
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  25. ^ "Suburban rail cash boost". BBC News (BBC). 3 December 2003. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "On board Bristol's subsidised train service". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 3 January 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  27. ^ "Wessex Trains". The Iron Road: Railway Photography by Scott Borthwick. Retrieved 29 Septemnber 2013. 
  28. ^ "FirstGroup wins rail franchises". BBC News (BBC). 13 December 2005. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  29. ^ a b "First Great Western bids for longer rail franchise deal". BBC News (BBC). 11 May 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2012. 
  30. ^ "Beach rail service to be revamped". BBC News (BBC). 12 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Campaigners' picnic marks rail launch". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 17 July 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  32. ^ "Campaigners call for quick railway action". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 15 September 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  33. ^ "Sunday service puts smiles on faces of rail enthusiasts". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 24 May 2010. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  34. ^ a b c "New Great Western franchise to deliver new express trains" (Press release). Department for Transport. 27 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "Community engagement in rail line". BBC News (BBC). 2 April 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "Bristol's Severn Beach rail line subsidy is halved". BBC News (BBC). 19 March 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "Bristol's Severn Beach rail line 'less reliable'". BBC News (BBC). 25 October 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "'More trains in Evening'". The Post, Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 16 December 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  39. ^ "Additional services for Severn Beach Line announced" (Press release). First Great Western. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  40. ^ http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/Popular-Severn-Beach-line-gets-new-late-service/story-16927636-detail/story.html?afterReg=Y
  41. ^ Haigh, Philip (18 April 2012). "First leads a field of seven bidding for rail franchises". RAIL magazine (Peterborough: Bauer Media) (694): 8–9. 
  42. ^ "Great Western franchise to be extended". Railnews. 19 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. 
  43. ^ "Great Western London to south Wales rail contest scrapped". BBC News (BBC). 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  44. ^ "First celebrates last-minute Great Western deal". Railnews. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  45. ^ "First Great Western retains Wales and west rail franchise". BBC News (BBC). 3 October 2013. Retrieved 4 October 2013. 
  46. ^ "Modernising the Great Western". Network Rail. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  47. ^ "Bristol to London line to be electrified". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 23 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  48. ^ "Benefits of Bristol to London high-speed rail link 'must go beyond just mainline'". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 3 March 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  49. ^ "FoSBR Newsletter" (78). Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Autumn 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2012. 
  50. ^ White, James (13 March 2009). "Item 04: Greater Bristol Metro". West of England Partnership. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  51. ^ a b "Campaign for trains from Bristol Temple Meads every half-hour". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  52. ^ "Transport Minister hears calls for better Bristol train service". This is Bristol (Northcliffe Media). 17 October 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  53. ^ "Green light for long-awaited rail improvements". Bristol Evening Post (Northcliffe Media). 17 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012. 
  54. ^ Haigh, Philip (8 August 2012). "Great Western priced options". RAIL 702: p9. 
  55. ^ "Our Case". Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 
  56. ^ Ribbeck, Michael (6 July 2012). "£100 million Bristol Metro train network by 2016". The Post, Bristol (Northcliffe Media). Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
  57. ^ "Great Western Rail franchise concerns raised". BBC News (BBC). 16 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  58. ^ "Bristol Henbury Loop train runs again after 50 years". BBC News. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  59. ^ "Bristol Henbury Loop service unlikely to reopen until 2018". BBC News. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  60. ^ Bristol Evening Post (13 January 2009). "Railway station could be built at Portway park and ride". Evening Post. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  61. ^ "Council leader's claim is a distortion of the facts". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  62. ^ "Soapbox: Severn Beach Line". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 30 December 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  63. ^ a b "Station Usage". Rail Statistics. Office of Rail Regulation. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′05″N 2°40′23″W / 51.4848°N 2.6731°W / 51.4848; -2.6731