Henbury Loop Line
The line at Henbury
|Stations||5 (0 in use)|
|Line length||6 miles 39 chains (10.4 km)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Henbury Loop Line, also known as the Filton to Avonmouth Line is a railway line following the boundary between Bristol and South Gloucestershire between the Severn Beach Line at Hallen Marsh Junction, Avonmouth and the Cross Country Route/South Wales Main Line at Filton. It is currently only used for freight.
The line was opened on 9 May 1910, as a more direct route to Avonmouth docks, and was initially known as the Avonmouth and Filton Railway. Although the line was mainly intended for freight services, passenger services were also provided until 1915, with stations at Filton Halt, Charlton, Henbury and Hallen. In 1917 a small station was opened at Chittening Platform to serve a new factory. The line was fully reopened to passenger traffic in 1922. Filton Halt, Charlton and Hallen stations did not reopen, but in 1926 a new station, North Filton Platform, was opened on the site of Filton Halt. The line closed to passenger traffic in 1964.
Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FOSBR) and other local rail campaign groups support the reopening of the line to passengers, as well as the stations at North Filton and Henbury. FOSBR suggest this would help services along the Severn Beach Line, allowing a Bristol Temple Meads-Avonmouth-Bristol Parkway service, and also provide services to the north of Bristol generally, the Cribbs Causeway shopping centre, and the redevelopment at Filton Aerodrome. A South Gloucestershire Council planning committee in 2011 recommended that the line be re-opened for passenger services.
A consultation document produced for the West of England Partnership by the Halcrow Group suggested passenger services use the line as a spur. Campaigners objected that the suggested services would not call at stations such as Stapleton Road and Lawrence Hill.
A one-off service, operated by First Great Western, ran on the line on 27 July 2013. The train operator hoped to use the service to demonstrate the feasibility of running services over the line, and to make the case for suitable funding. However, any reopening is unlikely before 2018, and depends in part upon the four-tracking of Filton Bank to allow more trains to operate the line from Bristol Temple Meads to Filton Abbey Wood.
- Deaves, Phil. "Engineer's Line References: AFR – Avonmouth and Filton Railway". Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Disused Stations site record: North Filton Platform
- Maggs, C. (1981) Rail Centres: Bristol Ian Allan ISBN 0-7110-1153-2 p.22
- "Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways making rail difference". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 25 September 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- "Council leader's claim is a distortion of the facts". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2012.
- Leslie, Charlotte MP (10 November 2008). "Unite to fight the sale of Henbury train station". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Bristol Evening Post (28 March 2012). "Campaigners raise questions over Henbury rail route". This is Bristol. Northcliffe Media. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "Our Case". Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- "Planners back Filton Airfield's closure". BBC News. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2011.
- "Bristol Henbury Loop train runs again after 50 years". BBC News. BBC. 27 July 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
- "Bristol Henbury Loop service unlikely to reopen until 2018". BBC News. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
- "Bristol Henbury Loop railway line case pushed by MP". BBC News (BBC). 9 August 2013. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
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