TRAVELLING on the train between Bristol Temple Meads and Taunton will take almost an extra hour over a nine-day period later this month.

An extra 55 minutes will be added to CrossCountry trains using an alternative route between the city and Somerset's county town during vital track refurbishment works between Bedminster and Bristol Temple Meads.

The disruption will run from 1am on Saturday week (January 20) until 4am on Monday, January 29.

Over the same period, buses will be laid on for passengers travelling from Bristol to Nailsea and Backwell, Yatton, Worle, Weston Milton and Weston-super-Mare.

Engineers will be working round the clock at Bristol West Junction, between Bristol Temple Meads and Bedminster stations.

Once the nine-day refurbishment of Bristol West Junction is complete, engineers will need to return for follow-up work, including a full weekend from 1am on Saturday, February 3, until 4am on Monday, February 5, when there will again be no train services between Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare. Teams will also be working Saturday night shifts through February and March to complete the work.

Christine Lazarus, senior portfolio manager for Network Rail Wales and Western, said: “Our engineers will be working 24/7 over the nine days to get this vital refurbishment done as efficiently as possible.

"It’s a busy route and much of the track is in need of replacement to ensure the continued safety and reliability of the railway.

“This work can only be carried out while the line is closed and we are sorry for any inconvenience.

"I’d like to thank passengers and local residents for their patience during this time.”

Alex Hills, GWR station manager for the Bristol area, said: “This rail improvement work forms part of an ongoing programme of maintenance to help ensure we can continue to provide customers with consistent and reliable services.

“To maintain rail connections between Bristol and Somerset, some trains will use a different route from normal, making journeys slightly longer; so please check before you travel. 

“We will provide a replacement bus service between Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, plus valid rail tickets can also be used on a number of local buses in Bristol and North Somerset.” 

Passengers are advised to plan ahead through their train operator or by visiting the