Network Rail has appointed Arup to help reinstate the rail link between Portishead and Bristol city centre.
The first phase of the MetroWest project involves restoring the disused Portishead branch line, building a new station at Portishead and reopening the station at Pill.
Arup will provide the outline design for the project, which will also include enhancement works at Bathampton and Avonmouth, covering track, drainage, civils, structures, telecoms, signalling power, points heating, OLE, M&E and geotechnical engineering, and environmental consulting.
The project remains subject to the Development Consent Order (DCO) process – a form of planning permission for major infrastructure projects.
Network Rail has said the line is expected to be reinstated by 2019. Opened in 1867, the line was the victim of Beeching’s axe, closing to passengers in September 1964.