Temple Meads Railway Station
Somerset BS2 0BY
Temple Meads railway station is a grand Victorian structure designed by I K Brunel and is Bristol’s main station connecting Bristol to all parts of Britain. It is the junction for services to Bath, Reading & London (Paddington); Birmingham and further north; Wales; and Taunton, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance in the south.
The remarkable 500 feet (152 metres) long curved, glass and iron building shelters platforms 1-4. The remaining nine are island platforms. The station has all the usual facilities, booking offices, food outlets, newsagent, cash points, telephones, toilets, disabled access, etc. It is only ten minutes walk from the city centre and is well served by buses and taxis.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel designed the original station building in 1841 as a suitably grand terminus for the Great Western Railway (GWR). Brunel was appointed the structural engineer for the GWR, responsible for designing the route, tunnels, bridges and buildings for the line.
Brunel chose to use broad gauge track (7 feet & ¼ inches/ 2140mm) which meant everything had to be on a larger and grander scale than any other line in Britain. By 1853, the broad gauge was being converted to ‘standard’ gauge and was abandoned throughout Britain by 1892. An example of broad gauge track can be seen at Didcot Railway Centre near London.
The 1841 station train shed was 72 feet (22 metres) long and was the world’s largest single span roof. Because of the rapid expansion of the railways in the 19th century, a further station was built in mock Tudor style adjacent to the original and this is the station used today. The ‘Old Station’ is now known as Brunel’s Old Station and operates as a Conference Centre staging Exhibitions, Dinner Paries, Weddings, Fashion Shows and Bristol Conferences.
Bristol is lucky to have three of Brunel’s greatest engineering feats – Temple Meads Railway Station building, Clifton Suspension Bridge and the ss Great Britain.
The name Temple Meads comes from the station’s location. ‘Meads’ refers to the water meadows in the vicinity and ‘Temple’ refers to the ancient church of the Knights Templar of the Holy Cross (the Crusaders) which was built in the 12th century and has since disappeared.
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Temple Meads Railway Station is served by the City's principal public transport services, including rail, bus, park and ride and airport shuttle.
- By Bus
From the station approach First Bristol operates services 8, 8A, 9 and 9A that connect with the City Centre, Clifton and Redland.
The A1 and A2 bus services go to Bristol Airport while services such as the 121 and the 672 connect with various villages around Somerset such as Chew Magna and Cheddar.
On Temple Way, the main road outside the station, there are cross-country services to Wells and Bath via Saltford.
Google Map - Temple Meads Railway Station