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Modern Britain

Railway Walks: Bristol Temple Meads to Wapping Wharf

by Peter Kessler, 30 March 2013. Updated 26 December 2016


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Known as the Bristol Harbour Line, this goods extension from Bristol Temple Meads ran for a length of 1.13 km to Wapping Wharf and the harbour sidings, 3.31 km to Ashton Vale Junction, and about 4.15 km to Canon's Marsh. The line was built in 1872 by the Great Western Railway to connect the goods yard at Temple Meads to Princes Wharf and then later Wapping Wharf. In 1906, the Harbour Rail Extension saw the line reach the north bank of the Floating Harbour waterway and double back to a major goods yard at Canons Marsh. The line remained in use until 1987, by which time the harbour was on its last legs. Closure followed, and much of the line was ripped up in the 1990s as the area was slowly redeveloped. There are still traces of it though, mostly embedded in cobbled paths.

Four photos on this page contributed by Nick Booker, three by Aztec West, and one by Paul Townsend, reproduced with permission. Additional information by Nick Booker and Aztec West.




Main Sources

Buchanan, Angus & Cossins, Neil - Bristol - Industrial History in Pictures, David & Charles, Devon, 1970

Conolly, W Philip - British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer, Fourth Edition, Ian Allen, London, 1965

Course, Edwin - London Railways: Then and Now, B T Batsford Ltd, London, 1987

Dale, Peter - Somerset's Lost Railways, Stenlake Publishing Ltd, Ayrshire, 2001

Online Sources

Abandoned Lines and Railways

Bristol & Regional Archaeological Services

Disused Stations

M Shed

This is Bristol



Images and text copyright © P L Kessler except where stated. An original feature for the History Files.