The Thornbury branch line is a railway line from Yate to Thornbury in the West of England. From 1963 until mid 2013, it remained as a freight route, serving the quarry at Tytherington. It was designated 'Out of Use (temporary)' by Network Rail from 2013 until 2017, when it reopened to serve Tytherington quarry again. km) branch of the Midland Railway line between Bristol and Gloucester opened on 2 September 1872, and started at Yate and finished at Thornbury, with stops at Iron Acton and Tytherington.The 7.5-mile (12
The line's services first consisted of two trains in each direction per day, connecting at Yate with mainline trains. Later trains appeared to be running from Thornbury down to Bristol Temple Meads, although the services were infrequent. By 1910, there were four trains in each direction every weekday. In 1944 the passenger train was run by a class 1P 0-4-4 tank with three coaches, which spent the night at Thornbury. The journey took 19 to 22 minutes. During World War 2 12-coach trains took wounded to hospital at Thornbury.
The first 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km) was level. 1.5 miles (2.4 km) fell at 1 in 176 to Iron Acton. The climb to Tytherington was at 1 in 86, followed by 1 in 59 to Tytherington Tunnel and a siding to a quarry. The 224 yards (205 m) long tunnel was lined only at the ends and a fall of rock blocked the line for a week in 1956. Beyond the tunnel, railway ballast was supplied by Grovesend Quarry. From the 167 yards (153 m) Grovesend Tunnel the line fell at 1 in 50 through a limestone cutting to Thornbury.
The 1 mile 7 chains (1.8 km) branch to iron-stone mines at Frampton Cotterell was authorised by an Act of 1865, but the mines failed, and Midland's Way & Works Committee agreed to lift the line at its 15 April 1878 meeting, though it wasn't done until 1892.
On 19 June 1944, the line was closed to passenger traffic. In the 1960s, the stations were demolished, apart from Yate, which was closed with other stations on the Bristol to Gloucester line in 1965 and then re-opened in 1989. The section of track from Tytherington Quarry to Thornbury was dismantled after the closure of the goods depot at Thornbury in 1966.
The rest of the line remained open to goods traffic, serving the Tytherington Quarry with very occasional freight services. Following the cessation of these services and with no near term resumption of traffic expected, the line was designated 'Out of Use (temporary)' beyond milepost 0 mi 30 ch in mid 2013.
The line returned to use in June 2017 following the reopening of the quarry by operators Hanson. An initial test run operated on 4 June 2017, with occasional loaded trains running from the quarry thereafter.
Studies into reopening the branch line have been made in a consultation report produced by Halcrow Group in 2014,as well as the November 2015 joint transport study report produced by The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. In 2013 the estimated cost of this would be £38 million.
Suggestion was made as part of the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) Joint Local Transport Plan to reopen the line along with others in the MetroWest project. However, in 2017 Weca found there would be several challenges in delivering this proposal,as the former rail alignment into Thornbury is now occupied by an industrial estate and there is no practical routing into the town. The station would therefore have to be located on the edge of Thornbury at a significant distance from the town centre, making it less attractive to passengers. The Grovesend tunnel would also need to be reopened, with its current condition unknown, and there would be capacity constraints at Westerleigh Junction. This led to the authority deciding not to pursue reopening the line. FOSBR continue to advocate reopening the line in the future.
In 2020, the line was mentioned by Railway Gazette International as having potential for future funding from the Department for Transport's "Restoring Your Railway" initiative.
Bristol Temple Meads is the oldest and largest railway station in Bristol, England. It is located 118 miles 31 chains away from London Paddington. It is an important transport hub for public transport in the city; there are bus services to many parts of the city and surrounding districts, with a ferry to the city centre. Bristol's other major station, Bristol Parkway, is a more recent station on the northern outskirts of the conurbation.
Thornbury is a market town and civil parish in the South Gloucestershire unitary authority area of England, about 12 mi (19 km) north of Bristol. It had a population of 12,063 at the 2011 census. The population has risen to 14,496 in the 2021 census. Thornbury is a Britain in Bloom award-winning town, with its own competition: Thornbury in Bloom. The earliest documentary evidence of a village at "Thornbyrig" dates from the end of the 9th century. The Domesday Book of 1086 noted a manor of "Turneberie" belonging to William the Conqueror’s consort, Matilda of Flanders, with 104 residents.
Tytherington is a village in South Gloucestershire, England, situated 2 miles (3.2 km) south east of Thornbury. The parish population taken at the 2011 census was 666.
The Severn Beach line is a local railway line in Bristol and Gloucestershire, England, which runs from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach, and used to extend to Pilning. The first sections of the line were opened in 1863 as part of the Bristol Port Railway and Pier; the section through Bristol was opened in 1875 as the Clifton Extension Railway.
Iron Acton is a village, civil parish and former manor in South Gloucestershire, England. The village is about 2 miles (3 km) west of Yate and about 9 miles (14 km) northeast of the centre of Bristol. The B4058 road used to pass through the village but now by-passes it just to the north.
Charfield railway station served the village of Charfield in South Gloucestershire, England. The station was on the Bristol and Gloucester Railway, originally a broad gauge line overseen by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but later taken over by the Midland Railway and converted to standard gauge.
The South Wales Main Line, originally known as the London, Bristol and South Wales Direct Railway or simply as the Bristol and South Wales Direct Railway, is a branch of the Great Western Main Line in Great Britain. It diverges from the core London-Bristol line at Royal Wootton Bassett beyond Swindon, first calling at Bristol Parkway, after which the line continues through the Severn Tunnel into South Wales.
The Portishead Railway is a branch line railway running from Portishead in North Somerset to the main line immediately west of Bristol, England. It was constructed by the Bristol & Portishead Pier and Railway Company, but it was always operated by its main line neighbour, and was more usually thought of as the Portishead branch or the Portishead railway.
Bristol is a city in south west England, near the Bristol Channel coast, approximately 106 miles (170 km) west of London. Several factors have influenced the development of its transport network. It is a major centre of employment, retail, culture and higher education, has many historic areas, and has a history of maritime industry. The city has a population of 450,000, with a metropolitan area of 650,000, and lies at the centre of the former County of Avon, which includes many dormitory towns, and has a population of one million.
Yate railway station serves the town of Yate in South Gloucestershire, in south west England. The station is located on the main Bristol to Birmingham line between Bristol Parkway and Cam & Dursley, and is operated by Great Western Railway.
Parson Street railway station serves the western end of Bedminster in Bristol, England. It also serves other surrounding suburbs including Bishopsworth, Ashton Vale and Ashton Gate, along with Bristol City FC. It is 2 miles (3.2 km) from Bristol Temple Meads, and 120 miles (193 km) from London Paddington. Its three letter station code is PSN. It was opened in 1927 by the Great Western Railway, and was rebuilt in 1933. The station, which has two through-lines and two platforms, plus one freight line for traffic on the Portishead Branch Line, has minimal facilities. As of 2020, it is managed by Great Western Railway, which is the sixth company to be responsible for the station, and the third franchise since privatisation in 1997. They provide all train services at the station, mainly an hourly service between Bristol Parkway and Weston-super-Mare.
The Dudding Hill Line is a railway line in west and north-west London running from Acton to Cricklewood. It is roughly 4 miles (6.4 km) long, with a 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) speed limit, and semaphore signalling. The line has no scheduled passenger service, no stations, and is not electrified. It is lightly used by freight trains and, very occasionally, passenger charter trains.
The majority of public transport users in the Bristol Urban Area are transported by bus, although rail has experienced growth and does play an important part, particularly in peak hours. There were plans for a light rail system, however this has now been dropped although it remains in the long-term local transport plan.
Rail services in the West of England refer to passenger rail journeys made in the Bristol commuter area. 17 million passenger rail journeys were made in 2019-20 within the Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bristol/Bath region.
Iron Acton station opened on 2 September 1872, with the start of services on the Midland Railway branch from Yate to Thornbury. The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders.
Thornbury railway station served the town of Thornbury in Gloucestershire. The station was the terminus of a short 7.5-mile (12 km) branch from Yate on the Midland Railway's line between Bristol and Gloucester.
Tytherington railway station served the village of Tytherington in South Gloucestershire. The station was on the Yate to Thornbury branch line that was opened by the Midland Railway in 1872. The station was designed by the Midland Railway company architect John Holloway Sanders.
MetroWest, formerly known as the Greater Bristol Metro, is a project to improve the rail services in Bristol, England, and the surrounding region. It was first proposed at First Great Western's Stakeholder Event in March 2008. The aim of the project is to develop half-hourly services through central Bristol which will also serve the surrounding West of England region. Transport campaigning groups Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways (FoSBR) and Transport for Greater Bristol are actively supporting the proposal, as are the three unitary authorities under the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council.
This article lists proposed developments to transport in Bristol, England.
Bristol Rail Campaign is a Bristol-based campaign group, calling for better rail transport in the Bristol area.