Ashton Gate railway station

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Ashton Gate
Ashton to Portishead Railway Line d 2012 - Flickr - Greater Bristol Metro Rail.jpg
The disused station pictured in 2012.
PlaceAshton Gate
AreaCity of Bristol
Grid referenceST566716
Original companyGreat Western Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Western Railway
Post-groupingGreat Western Railway
15 September 1906Station partly opens as Ashton Gate Platform
1 October 1910Station fully opens
1917Station closed
23 May 1926Station reopens
August 1928Station renamed Ashton Gate
29 October 1962Station renamed Ashton Gate Halt
7 September 1964Station closed
29 September 1970Station reopens
by 1984Station closed
Disused railway stations in the United Kingdom
Closed railway stations in Britain

Coordinates: 51°26′30″N 2°37′32″W / 51.441598°N 2.625482°W / 51.441598; -2.625482

Ashton Gate station is located in Bristol
Ashton Gate station
Ashton Gate station
Ashton Gate station, Bristol

Ashton Gate railway station was a railway station serving the Ashton Gate area of Bristol, England, which included Ashton Gate football ground, the home ground of Bristol City F.C.. It was located on the Portishead Railway.

Recent proposals have been made for the station to reopen as part of the MetroWest project to improve rail transport in the Greater Bristol area.[1]


Station in 1962

The railway through Ashton Gate was opened on 18 April 1867 by the Bristol and Portishead Pier and Railway Company, when services began on their line from the Bristol and Exeter Railway at Portishead Junction[note 1] to a pier on the Severn Estuary at Portishead. The line was built as 7 ft (2,134 mm) broad-gauge, and was largely single track.[2][3] The line was relaid as 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge between 24 and 27 January 1880, and in 1883 the line was double-tracked.[3]

Ashton Gate station was built after local football team Bristol City were promoted to the Football League First Division, then the top tier of English football. The station was opened to serve their home ground, Ashton Gate Stadium, which was situated nearby. The station opened for supporters on 15 September 1906, and to the general public on 1 October that year.[3] In 1914 it was temporarily renamed "Exhibition Station" for the Bristol International Exhibition.

The station was 8 miles 75 chains (14.4 km) from the line's terminus at Portishead,[note 2] 2 miles 79 chains (4.8 km) from Bristol Temple Meads and 121 miles 30 chains (195.3 km) from the Great Western Railway's terminus at London Paddington.[4][5][note 3]

The station closed due to economies during the First World War. It then passed on to the Western Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948. It was then closed by the British Railways Board in 1964, then briefly reopened for traffic to the football ground until 1977, and temporarily re-opened in May 1984 to serve Mission England, a series of evangelical rallies by Billy Graham at the football ground.[6]

Preceding station Historical railways Following station
Parson Street   Great Western Railway
Portishead Railway
  Clifton Bridge
Line open, Station closed


The Portishead Branch Line is to be reopened as part of the MetroWest scheme, a rail transport plan which aims to enhance transport capacity in the Bristol area.[7][8][9] The 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.[9] A consultation on the plans was held between 22 June and 3 August 2015 to gather views from the community and stakeholders before moving on to detailed designs. The detailed proposals will be subject to a second consultation before the plans are finalised. Due to the additional capital costs, the line will not be electrified, however the design will include passive provision for future electrification. The line through Ashton Gate would be increased to double track.[10] Network Rail stated that it was not feasible to reopen Ashton Gate during the initial stage of the project, but that the scheme will be future-proofed to allow the construction of a station at a later date.[11]

Trains along the reopened line will operate between Portishead and Bristol Temple Meads, with two trains per hour in each direction. Services would call at Pill and Parson Street, with aspirations to also call at Bedminster and Ashton Gate. Trains could also be extended on to the Severn Beach Line. The trains used will be diesel multiple units, likely three carriages long. The line will be operated as part of the Greater Western passenger franchise. Great Western Railway, a subsidiary of FirstGroup, currently operate the Greater Western franchise, however their contract expires in early 2019, before services to Portishead are due to start.[10][13][14] In May 2016, it was reported that Bristol City Council did not consider there was a business case for the station's reopening due to its low predicted annual patronage of 67,000 excluding Bristol City matches.[15]


  1. ^ The junction between the Bristol to Exeter line and Portishead Railway was known as Portishead Junction until 1932, after which it was known as Parson Street Junction.[2]
  2. ^ The location of the terminal pier is an estimate.[4]
  3. ^ Railways in the United Kingdom are, for historical reasons, measured in miles and chains. There are 80 chains to the mile.


  1. ^ "West of England Area Rail Studies Final Report" (PDF). JTEC - West of England Partnership. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b Maggs, Colin G (1990). Bristol Railway Panorama. Bath: Millstream Books. pp. 109–119. ISBN 0-948975-22-9.
  3. ^ a b c Oakley, Mike (2006). Bristol Railway Stations 1840–2005. Bristol: Redcliffe. pp. 35–37. ISBN 1-904537-54-5.
  4. ^ a b Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: POD Portishead Branch". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  5. ^ Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: MLN1 Paddington to North Road Junction". Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  6. ^ "Ashton Gate - Bristol Railway Archive". Retrieved 23 January 2009.
  7. ^ White, James (13 March 2009). "Item 04: Greater Bristol Metro" (PDF). West of England Partnership. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Campaign for trains from Bristol Temple Meads every half hour". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 17 January 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
  9. ^ a b Ribbeck, Michael (6 July 2012). "£100 million Bristol Metro train network by 2016". The Post, Bristol. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Consultation on re-opening the Portishead branch line as part of MetroWest Phase 1" (PDF). MetroWest. TravelWest. June 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 November 2015.
  11. ^ "New Ashton Gate station delayed as part of £60m MetroWest project". Rail Technology Magazine. Cognitive Publishing. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  12. ^ "The Great Western Railway is back in business". Railnews. 21 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  13. ^ "First Great Western offered new franchise deal". BBC News. BBC. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.[refnote 1]
  14. ^ "Updated franchise schedule signals GW extension". Railnews. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2014.[refnote 1]
  15. ^ Johnson, Howard (27 April – 10 May 2016). "Regional News". RAIL. No. 799. p. 24.
  • 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. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Jowett, Alan (2000). Jowett's Nationalised Railway Atlas (1st ed.). Penryn, Cornwall: Atlantic Transport Publishers. ISBN 978-0-906899-99-1. OCLC 228266687.

Notes to references:

  1. ^ a b Note that these references refer to First Great Western, which was rebranded as Great Western Railway in 2015.[12]

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