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Crucial Rail Project Still Going Ahead – Despite Electrification Blow

A crucial rail scheme IS going ahead as planned despite the delays to electrification in the Bristol area, Network Rail has confirmed.

The £33million Filton four-tracking project is a vital piece of the jigsaw for the MetroWest project to re-open disused track and stations to ease traffic congestion.

It will allow local trains to operate without disrupting mainline services between Paddington, the south west and South Wales.

When Transport Secretary Chris Grayling revealed before Christmas that electrification would be delayed, it raised questions whether the four-tracking project would be affected.

This is partly because the electrification work was due to go ahead alongside the four-tracking.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Work is well underway. We have already completed a number of bridges and we are on with one of the major earthworks.”

He added that the project is due for completion in December 2018.

The £33million cost is for the civil engineering work and does not include signalling, train haulage, rail, sleepers and ballast, road closure fees, land access, possession costs and additional works for the bridges.

MetroWest includes several projects which are being built in phases during the next several years.

They include opening up the Portishead line to passenger trains, opening a new station at the Portway park and ride site and controversially opting for a Henbury spur instead of a loop.

A spur means trains will turn back at Henbury instead of going on to link up with the Severn Beach line.

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