VolkerFitzpatrick awarded Network Rail contract to restore railway services between Portishead and Bristol

VolkerFitzpatrick has been appointed by Network Rail to restore the disused railway through North Somerset, reducing journey times for commuters between Portishead and Bristol.

Bristol MetroWest - current disused line between Bristol and Portishead (WEB).jpg
Bristol MetroWest - current disused line between Bristol and Portishead (WEB).jpg

VolkerFitzpatrick will be the primary contractor for the programme, which will see stations built in Pill and Portishead as part of the Government’s Restoring Your Railway scheme. The appointment of VolkerFitzpatrick follows the Department for Transport’s announcement of planning consent in November last year.

The £6.14m scheme to reopen the line is funded by the Government’s Restoring Your Railway fund, Department for Transport, West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council.


The project is part of the MetroWest programme, which will bring suburban services to more stations across the west of England. Once complete, the new passenger service will connect 50,000 residents to the railway network by reopening a line that was closed in 1964.

The next 12-18 months will involve the detailed design phase, as well as ground and ecology surveys and enabling works, while preparing the full business case for decision makers.

David Davidson, Network Rail’s interim Western route director, said: “We’re delighted to have awarded the contract for the restoration of the Portishead to Bristol line to VolkerFitzpatrick, reaching an important milestone for the reintroduction of passenger services.

“The railway line has been long awaited and we look forward to working with our partners to deliver this major scheme which will play a significant role in supporting sustainable travel in and around Bristol.”

Paul Lilley, operations director for VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “I am delighted that Network Rail has chosen to work with VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver this important project, including the new stations on this revitalised line. Our team is excited to be part of these plans to connect communities, create a better-connected transport network and support the region’s ambition to be net-zero carbon by 2030.”