A minor train station on the mainline into Bristol is to become the new railway terminus for passengers arriving in the city. Bedminster train station, around a mile or so away from Temple Meads, will act as the main terminus for all trains coming in to Bristol from the south west, including Penzance, Plymouth, Exeter and Weston-super-Mare.
The creation of this new terminus is only temporary - and will last for as long as it takes Network Rail to complete what it describes as an 'exciting programme of rail regeneration' around Bristol. The work on the layout of the tracks at the Bristol East junction just to the north-east of Temple Meads will affect the city's main station for at least eight weeks this summer, and means for a time trains won't be able to reach Temple Meads from the south west.
So instead, they will stop at Bedminster station - and that means the tiny, unmanned, three-platform station will have to accommodate the long, inter-city high speed train services. So before work starts on the Bristol East junction, Network Rail have now begun work to lengthen the platforms at Bedminster, so it can become the new terminus for Bristol.
"Bedminster station will be used as a southern terminus for Bristol Temple Meads, bringing passengers from the south west into the city and reducing the length of rail replacement journeys by bus or coach during the summer closure of the railway," said a Network Rail spokesperson. "To get Bedminster station ready, we need to temporarily bring a section of disused platform back into use, to accommodate longer trains," a spokesperson for Network Rail said. "This will involve breaking up the surface in the disused section, removing waste materials and installing a temporary surface. We will also need to replace and repair coping stones along the platform edge to make it safe for passengers to get on and off trains," he added.
Residents living at the bottom of Windmill Hill, closest to the station, have been warned that this work to upgrade Bedminster station will take place overnight between 11pm and 7am on many nights during April, May and into June. The work at Bedminster station began last Saturday night, and residents have been told it will continue every Saturday night until June 13. At the end of April, on Monday April 26, it will then begin on midweek nights too until May 21.
Later this summer, it will begin again every Saturday from July 24 to September 18.