Full steam ahead for £60m railway project

Vital work carried out by Glendale will allow a disused railway to reopen and connect Portishead with Bristol.

Glendale has completed a £120,000 clearance project across 3.3 miles of discontinued line, within a wider scheme to connect an additional 30,000 people to the UK rail network.

Glendale’s work is part of the £60m MetroWest programme to reopen existing railways, improve transport links to Bristol, and provide a viable alternative to people travelling in the area without using their cars.

It was necessary for a full topographical survey of the line to be carried out, enabling the next stage of engineering and design work to take place and putting the project on track for its 2019 completion.

Phase one of the clearance was carried out in 2014 and allowed engineering to access structures for surveying.  The 2015 phase required 12 staff members working over a five-week period and will be followed by the third phase on some parts of the freight line in Pill.

Jon Eglin, arboriculture manager for Glendale, said: “The delivery of this large project, with limited access and an unusual environment, is a credit to the arborist teams at Glendale.  The scale of the work involved required a real team effort and the teams handled it exceptionally well while still maintaining our other contracts to our usual high standards.

“Reopening the line will have huge benefits for the area.  Portishead is a fast growing town, badly in need of a connection to the city, and improved transport links for commuters will decrease congestion on our roads.”

The Portishead to Bristol line has been closed to the public since 1964 but was used for private freight to the docks at Avonmouth until 1981.

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