Clifton Down railway station

Clifton Down railway station
Clifton Down National Rail
Clifton Down
Place Clifton
Local authority Bristol
Coordinates 51°27′53″N 2°36′39″W / 51.4646°N 2.6109°W / 51.4646; -2.6109Coordinates: 51°27′53″N 2°36′39″W / 51.4646°N 2.6109°W / 51.4646; -2.6109
Station code CFN
Managed by First Great Western
Number of platforms 2
Live arrivals/departures and station information
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage
2002/03 * 187,383
2004/05 * decrease 141,838
2005/06 * increase 153,027
2006/07 * increase 180,656
2007/08 * increase 204,397
2008/09 * increase 281,876
2009/10 * increase 361,828
1874 Opened
National Rail - UK railway stations
* Annual passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Clifton Down from Office of Rail Regulation statistics. Please note: methodology may vary year on year.
Portal icon UK Railways portal

Clifton Down railway station is located on Whiteladies Road in Clifton, Bristol, England. The station is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west of Bristol Temple Meads on the Severn Beach Line. To the west of the station the line passes through a mile-long tunnel under the Downs; the station takes its name from Clifton Down, the southern part of this open public space.



The station was opened on 1 October 1874,[1] when the first section of the Severn Line branch was opened. Initially there were 10 Great Western Railway trains a day from the station to Temple Meads and 13 Midland Railway trains a day to Mangotsfield. Trains to Mangotsfield ceased in 1941, but by 1947 there were 33 trains a day in each direction (18 on Sundays). Until the 1970s excursion trains were run to the station from South Wales for visitors to Bristol Zoo - trains known as "monkey specials".[2] An additional subway style entrance to the station from Whiteladies road was removed in the early 1990s. The staircase can still be seen on platform 2 beyond the guard rails. At street level, this entrance was paved over to make way for a small shopping island.

The original station waiting room, ticket office and station-master's house, which stands as a testament to previous grandeur, is now an Australian theme pub known as the "Roo Bar". The station building, pub and attached screen walls date from 1874 and have been designated by English Heritage as a grade II listed building.[3]


The station is next to Clifton Down shopping centre. It is the closest railway station to the BBC's main Bristol studios and offices on Whiteladies Road, and to Bristol Zoo (just under 1 mile away). It is now unstaffed with no ticket machines, meaning tickets should be bought on the train.

The station has a passing loop as there are two tracks there on the mainly single track line.

The disused station building's bricked-up windows and doors feature artwork of animals created by students at the North Bristol Post 16 Centre at the Redland Green Learning Community as part of an art and design course, and to promote links to Bristol Zoo.


Services at Clifton Down are all operated by First Great Western, using mainly Class 143 Pacer units. Monday to Friday, three trains every two hours run from Bristol Temple Meads to Avonmouth, with one extended to St Andrew's Road and Severn Beach, giving a service at Clifton Down of one train in each direction every 40 minutes. On Saturdays there is a similar level of service, but more trains continue to Severn Beach. Sunday sees a roughly hourly service to and from Bristol, with only two services extending to Severn Beach, except from the May timetable change until September, when all services are extended.[4][5]

Preceding station National Rail National Rail Following station
Sea Mills   First Great Western
Severn Beach Line
Historical railways
Sea Mills   Great Western Railway
Clifton Extension Railway
Terminus   Midland Railway
Clifton Extension Railway

Proposed improvements

Looking under the road and buildings towards Redland.

In March 2007 First Great Western, published details of the improvements they plan to undertake over the next three years.[6] At Clifton Down they are;

  • CCTV
  • Help and information points
  • Public address system
  • Seal off area under bridge
  • Sign on road bridge
  • Zoo branding/signing


See also

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