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Bristol Temple Meads


As part of Network Rail's Bristol Rail Regeneration project, VolkerRail, working for Colas Rail, has helped transform the way trains come in and out of Bristol Temple Meads.

Much of the original track and engineering components, at Bristol East Junction, a major junction, just North of Bristol Temple Meads station, have remained untouched, since being installed in the 1960s.

Over a six week period, VolkerRail’s Kirow crane installed a brand new layout, with the original track removed by Colas Rail, to pave the way for more train services to move more people, more reliably.

Track installation

In total VolkerRail has laid over 4,000m of track; installing 213 track panels and 36 sets of points, as well as laying an extra line into the station, taking it from five to six roads, to support additional suburban services, being planned for the future.

Due to the brick arches around the station posing weight restrictions, VolkerRail utilised the extremely flexible, lightweight, Kirow 250s to complete works. The cranes, which undertake 17 tonne lifts individually, or heavier, when operated in tandem, used chains and strops rather than lifting beams to help reduce the axel loads.

VolkerRail’s Kirow 810 was also utilised on the project to assist in the unloading of modular S&C panels from tilting wagons. The 810 had the ability to change orientation of some of the panels after delivery before transporting them to site on a salmon wagon for the Kirow 250s to install.

The new layout means trains will now be able to come in and out of Bristol Temple Meads more easily, meaning fewer delays and better journeys.

Signalling installation

As well as laying new track, the team also used the cranes to install and help dress its second signal gantry; having installed the first gantry over Christmas 2020, as well as the first set of track replacement sections, along with removing the final – redundant - signal gantry.

"This was a highly complex piece of engineering that has taken several years to plan and we would like to thank passengers and local residents for their patience and understanding over the past eight weeks while we have completed this work."

Mike Gallop - Network Rail’s Western route director

Facts and figures

  • Client
    Colas Rail
  • Duration
    Six weeks
  • Project categories

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