Trains move closer

PUBLISHED: 15:54 24 September 2012

Archant

PASSENGER trains will travel within three miles of Portishead’s designated future station later this month.

The feasibility of a train service from Portishead to Bristol will be demonstrated when five passenger trains make their way along the route which campaigners want to see deliver a commuter service.

Supporters of the re-opening of the Portishead to Bristol railway link have snapped up tickets to travel along the Portbury Branch Line on the special charter trains on September 29.

The journeys are scheduled as part of the events of the First Great Western (FGW) 2012 Community Rail Festival at Bristol Temple Meads Station.

The trains, each taking 100 passengers, will leave platform eight at intervals throughout the day to travel through the Avon Gorge and below Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge to Pill and Portbury. The track into Portbury is currently used only for freight trains which operate at a speed of around 30 mph but the line has been included as an option in the Greater Western Franchise plans and campaigners are hopeful it will be upgraded to allow it to be re-opened to passengers.

Even though the passenger trains running on September 29 will reduce speed along this section of track, the journey from Bristol is still expected to take less than 30 minutes.

Members of the Portishead Railway Group say they are chuffed that the passenger trains will be travelling into Portbury and hope it will boost support for their campaign.

Colin Howells, vice chairman of Portishead Railway Group, said: “This is a great opportunity for people to see what can be done using the current infrastructure. We hope this will encourage people to support the campaign to re-open the Portishead to Bristol railway line, which will lead to our town being served by a regular passenger service.”

More information about the Portishead Railway Group can be found by visiting www.portisheadrailwaygroup.org


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