Summer rail repairs planned

WORK to repair sections of the railway line near Pill will take place this summer.

Network Rail plans to replace or repair sections of the track which connects Portbury Docks with Bristol at Pill Tunnel and Pill Station.

Concerns have been raised that this work, which will keep the track at standards necessary for freight trains, will have been of little use if approval is soon given for the line to be upgraded for passenger trains between Portishead and Bristol.

However, a Network Rail spokesman has confirmed the work would need to be done even if the track was later upgrade and by carrying out the Government-funded scheme this summer, this will cut �2million off the cost of reopening the line for passengers.

The spokesman said: “This work needs to be done. By doing it now it means it won’t then need to be done later on.

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“This means it will complement the scheme to reopen the track as a passenger line.”

Reopening the passenger line from Portishead to Bristol, which would require a new station in Portishead and intermediate stations in Pill and Ashton Gate, is expected to cost about �50million.

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North Somerset Council and Bristol City Council hope to make a case for Government funding for the project at the next opportunity.

The recently-formed Greater Bristol Metro Rail Group is also campaigning for its creation to be included in the requirements set out to whichever company takes on the Great Western Rail franchise, which will run from April 2013.

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