The line runs from Dr Days Junction, just south of Lawrence Hill, to Filton Junction, just north of Filton Abbey Wood, via Narroways Hill Junction. The section is 3 miles 75 chains (6.3 km) long. The bank is largely double track, with sections of triple track around Filton Abbey Wood and from Dr Days Junction to Lawrence Hill.
The line was built by the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway. It was four-tracked until 1984 when it was reduced to double track, with the running lines slewed over to increase line speeds.
It was announced in July 2012 that Filton Bank will be four-tracked. This will restore the separation between fast and stopping services, increasing capacity on the line, and allowing half-hourly services along the Severn Beach Line. The line will be electrified as part of the Great Western Main Line electrification scheme. In preparation for electrification, the footbridge at Stapleton Road was replaced to give room for overhead cables.
In June 2013 this upgrade was listed in an announcement on national schemes by the Office of Rail Regulation. 
In November 2016 it was announced that electrification on this section of line would be deferred.  No new dates were given for this.
- Deaves, Phil. "Engineers' Line References: BSW: Bristol and South Wales Union Line". Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- "Green light for long-awaited rail improvements". Bristol Evening Post. Northcliffe Media. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
- "Bristol to London line to be electrified". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- "FOSBR Newsletter" (PDF). Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. April 2014. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- Department for Transport and Paul Maynard MP Paul Maynard MP (8 November 2016). "Rail update: rail investment in the Great Western route - Written statements to Parliament - GOV.UK". Retrieved 8 November 2016.
The 4 projects being deferred are:..electrification of Filton Bank
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