Pilning railway station

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Pilning National Rail
Pilning railway station MMB 02.jpg
Place Pilning
Local authority South Gloucestershire
Coordinates 51°33′23″N 2°37′35″W / 51.5563°N 2.6265°W / 51.5563; -2.6265Coordinates: 51°33′23″N 2°37′35″W / 51.5563°N 2.6265°W / 51.5563; -2.6265
Grid reference ST566844
Station code PIL
Managed by Great Western Railway
Number of platforms 1
DfT category F2
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2012/13 Decrease 130
2013/14 Decrease 88
2014/15 Decrease 68
2015/16 Decrease 46
2016/17 Increase 230
Original company Great Western Railway
Pre-grouping Great Western Railway
Post-grouping Great Western Railway
1 December 1886 (1886-12-01) Opened as Pilning
9 July 1928 Renamed Pilning High Level
6 May 1968 Renamed Pilning
5 November 2016 Westbound platform closed
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Pilning from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.
170433 at Edinburgh Waverley.JPG UK Railways portal
Coal train climbing up from the Severn Tunnel in 1961

Pilning railway station is a minor station in Pilning, South Gloucestershire, England. It is 116.5 miles (187.5 km) from London Paddington and is the last station on the English side before the Severn Tunnel through to Wales. Much of the village of Pilning is closer to Severn Beach railway station.

In 2015 Pilning was the sixth least used station in the United Kingdom, with just 68 passenger entries/exits recorded for the entire year.[1]

In 2016 it was announced that the footbridge would be removed to allow for the electrification of the Great Western Main Line, that the "down" (westbound) platform would be closed and that there would no longer be any Wales-bound services calling at the station.[2]


The first Pilning station was opened on 8 September 1863 by the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway, absorbed by the Great Western Railway in 1868. When the Severn Tunnel was opened in 1886, the new line diverged from the original B&SWUR line to New Passage just south of Pilning station. The line to New Passage, including the original station, was closed, and a new station was opened on the new line nearby.[3]

In 1900 the GWR reopened the old line to goods traffic, connecting with a new line through Severn Beach to Avonmouth. In 1928 passenger services were started on the line to Avonmouth, and a new station, Pilning Low Level, was opened on the site of the original Pilning station. The station on the Severn Tunnel line was renamed Pilning High Level.

Pilning continued to have two stations from 1928 to 1964, when the line from Pilning to Severn Beach was closed. Pilning High Level station was then renamed Pilning.

From 1924 to 1966 Pilning High Level was the terminus of a car transport service through the tunnel to Severn Tunnel Junction.


Prior to the timetable change in December 2006, Pilning was served by one train each way on weekdays. From December 2006 First Great Western decided to cut the service to just one train a week in each direction on Saturdays only. The eastbound departure is the 08:35 service to Taunton via Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare. The westbound departure was the 15:41 service to Cardiff Central, calling at Severn Tunnel Junction, Newport and Cardiff Central. Both services were booked for a Class 150 Sprinter unit.

From 5 November 2016 the 15:41 to Cardiff Central was withdrawn and replaced by a 13:34 service to Taunton, due to the closure of the Westbound/Down Platform; from 1 January 2018 the 13:34 stop was replaced by a 15:34 stop, also on a service to Taunton.

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Severn Tunnel Junction   Great Western Railway
Cardiff Central - Taunton
(Saturdays only, limited service)


It has been speculated [4] that a decision was taken to close the station by stealth after the Severnside Stadium housing development stalled. This had been an extensive new housing project near the station and would have provided much commuter traffic from the area.

It was suggested that Severn Beach railway station has a much better service and is in fact nearer to most residential parts of the village of Pilning than Pilning station is; however, Severn Beach is a terminus station, and, unlike Pilning (prior to the removal of the footbridge), does not offer direct services to South Wales. Local residents continuously express their opinion that both Severn Beach and Pilning stations are important and needed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Revealed: Britain's busiest and quietest stations". BBC News. Retrieved 16 Dec 2015. 
  2. ^ "Platform at Gloucestershire Railway Station To Close Amid Great Western Electrification". Bristol Post. Retrieved 11 Sep 2016. [dead link]
  3. ^ Norris, John (1985). The Bristol & South Wales Union Railway. Oakham: Railway and Canal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901461-38-5. 
  4. ^ SaveTheTrain.Org.UK

External links[edit]