New tracks, new stations will provide opportunities
VERY soon we should be hearing the much waited news about the reinstatement of the four tracks on the Filton Bank. In fact I hope we will get the news in the coming weeks.
Two of the tracks were removed in 1984 leading to track capacity problems with the remaining up and down relief lines.
We have already seen a new footbridge built at Stapleton Road station, which has been built higher than most footbridges to accommodate the new electricity gantries that will go in around 2017/18.
Now we have heard Network Rail supports the reopening of Ashley Hill station. If this is reopened it will be the first new station in the Greater Bristol area since Filton Abbeywood station in 1996.
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This station is ideal for Ashley Hill college, the busy Gloucester Road shops along the A38. It is also ideally situated for Gloucestershire County Cricket club at Neville Road, only a couple of minutes walk from Ashley Hill station.
And Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, is the only sporting venue in Bristol holding internationals.
Near the site of the old Horfield station at Bonnington Road, Network Rail are putting in some new cross-overs.
The idea of this is to provide the greatest benefits to all train services. This new junction provides the optimum location to serve the four lines, with a combination of freight, local stopping trains, and the new proposed electric IEP trains.
The idea of this junction is to provide the maximum line speeds, to improve journey times and track capacity required to deliver better train services.
Between Ashley Hill and Filton Abbeywood if a business case is provided and accepted by Network Rail, we might see a new station built at Constable Road Lockleaze.
This proposed station would be situated near the old gas works. Constable Road is served by the 507 bus service to Southmead hospital.
Lockleaze is in some parts a deprived area, a new station here would open up the opportunities for its residents to travel to various locations in the Greater Bristol area for work.
David Wood, Rail Maritime and Transport Union, Bristol
Written in a personal capacity.