Bristol Temple Meads railway station is the oldest and largest railway station in Bristol. It is an important transport hub for public transport, with bus services to many parts of the city and surrounding districts and a ferry to the city centre in addition to the train services. Bristol's other main-line station, Bristol Parkway, is on the northern outskirts of the conurbation.
It opened on 31 August 1840 as the western terminus of the Great Western Railway from London Paddington. The railway including Temple Meads was the first one designed by the British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Soon the station was also used by the Bristol and Exeter Railway, the Bristol and Gloucester Railway, the Bristol Harbour Railway and the Bristol and South Wales Union Railway. To accommodate the increasing number of trains the station was expanded in the 1870s by Francis Fox and again in the 1930s by P E Culverhouse. Brunel's terminus is no longer part of the operational station. The historical significance of the station has been noted, and most of the site is Grade 1 listed.
Temple Meads is managed by Network Rail. The majority of services are operated by Greater Western franchise holder Great Western Railway, which operates intercity services to and from London Paddington. The majority terminate at Temple Meads with a few continuing to Swansea, Weston-super-Mare, Paignton and Penzance. It also operates local and inter-urban trains to destinations including Severn Beach, Great Malvern, Cardiff, Portsmouth Brighton, Weymouth, Paignton and Penzance. CrossCountry operate services north to destinations including Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, and south to Paignton, Plymouth and Penzance. A limited service to London Waterloo is provided by South West Trains.
In the 12 months to March 2014, 9.5 million entries and exits were made from the station. The platforms are numbered 1 to 15, but passenger trains are confined to just eight tracks. Most platforms are numbered separately at each end with odd numbers at the east end, even numbers at the west end. Platform 2 is not signalled for passenger trains, and there is no platform 14.
In 2012 the station became part of Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, and Network Rail announced a £100 million station redevelopment.
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