This was a 7.5 mile branch line from Yate to Thornbury, now in South Gloucestershire. There were intermediate stations at Iron Acton and Tytherington. The line closed to passengers in 1944. It was designated ‘Out of Use (temporary)’ by Network Rail from 2013 until 2017, when it reopened to serve Tytherington quarry again.

The trackbed seems to be unobstructed from Grovesend on the A38 as far as the south eastern side of Midland Way, where it is covered by a housing estate. It reappears as a linear park that ends at Midland Way close to an industrial estate, with Tesco and its car park beyond.

A proposal to reopen the line submitted by Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways has been rejected on the following grounds:

  • Any new station would be too remote from Thornbury town centre.
  • The condition of Grovesend tunnel is unknown
  • Capacity constraints at Westerleigh Junction.
Location of Location of Westerleigh Junction

© OpenStreetMap contributors | OpenStreetMap copyright notice
Route of the Thornbury line

© OpenStreetMap contributors | OpenStreetMap copyright notice | View context map of proposed location

Suggestions were made to reopen the Thornbury Branch line. However, in 2017 the West of England Combined Authority found there would be several challenges in delivering this proposal, as the former rail alignment into Thornbury is now occupied by an industrial estate and there is no practical routing into the town. The station would therefore have to be located on the edge of Thornbury at a significant distance from the town centre, making it less attractive to passengers. The Grovesend tunnel would also need to be reopened, with its current condition unknown, and there would be capacity constraints at Westerleigh Junction. This led to the Authority deciding not to pursue reopening the line. FOSBR continue to advocate reopening the line in the future.

In 2020, the line was mentioned by Railway Gazette International as having potential for future funding from the Department for Transport’s Restoring Your Railway initiative.

Source: Wikipedia – MetroWest (Bristol).

Read about Stroudwater proposed station Read about Uphill proposed station Read about Long Ashton proposed station Read about Portishead planned station Read about Portbury proposed station Read about Pill planned station Read about Ashton Gate proposed station Read about Corsham proposed station Read about Saltford proposed station Read about St Anne’s Park proposed station Read about Portway planned station Read about Ashley Down (not Ashley Hill) planned station Read about Horfield proposed station Read about Chittening proposed station Read about Henbury planned station Read about North Filton planned station Read about Coalpit Heath proposed station Read about Charfield planned station Read about Thornbury proposed station
Click on a proposed station symbol Proposed station symbol to view the corresponding Reopen page.

Original map published by Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic licence. Reopen is a nonprofit venture and is not affiliated with FoSBR.

Further reading

Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways


Thornbury: Luke Hall [MP for Thornbury and Yate] responds, on Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways website

Thornbury branch line – Wikipedia

Thornbury Railway Station, on Thornbury Roots website (includes photos and history of the line)