The derelict Bristol railway station set to reopen after more than 60 years
Pill hasn’t had a passenger train since 1964 but work will soon begin to reopen the line
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Rail passengers in Pill have been waiting a long time for the next train to leave the platform - 59 years, to be precise.
The branch line from Bristol to Portishead closed to passengers in 1964 as part of the Beeching cuts. Since then, only freight trains to Portbury docks and the occasional nostalgic steam train have passed through Pill.
But the good news is that the disused line will reopen in 2026. Work on the £152m project will start in the summer of 2024 and once complete, there will be hourly journeys from Portishead to Bristol Temple Meads, taking 23 minutes.
There will be a new rail station at Portishead and plans for a station at Ashton Gate. Trains will be running for up to 18 hours a day on Mondays to Saturdays and 12 hours on Sundays, also serving Pill, Parson Street and Bedminster.
After more than six decades, the Pill stop will reopen close to the original station and residents of the sleepy North Somerset village can’t wait.
Stand on the bridge at Station Road, next to the old ticket office (now called Station House), and the crumbling stone steps leading down to the derelict platform are easy to spot.
On the other side of the track, the long platform is covered in weeds and overgrown trees. Next to the old station entrance in Monmouth Road is a large building that was converted into flats a decade ago.
This was the old Railway Inn where passengers would often wait before their train, or for a drink after a long journey.
As I stand on the bridge in Station Road, imagining what it must have been like when trains used to travel along the track below, I meet local resident Colin who’s heading for the nearby SPAR shop, which used to be a butchers when the railway station was still open.
Brian moved to Pill in the early 1970s so can’t remember a time when there were trains passing through the village but he welcomes their return.
“I love using the train but until now if we want to use one, we have to drive to Nailsea, park and then get one. We even did that to go to Weston-super-Mare the other day!
“A lot of people in Pill work in Bristol so the train will be very popular, especially as more people want to use their cars less, what with the Clean Air Zone charges and all that.”
Colin can still remember a time when passengers used Pill station before 1964 and he says he can’t wait to see them return.
“Our grandchildren can’t believe there used to be trains to Pill but when they do return, I’m sure they will use it to visit us, as will many others. It’s going to make such a big difference to the village.
“My wife and I are both in our late 70s now but we used to joke about whether we would even see the Pill station reopen in our lifetime, but it actually looks like we will now!”