Bristol Rail Campaign was formed in 1995 as Friends of the Severn Beach Railway. It was started by local people who wished to protest against the potential demise of the Severn Beach Line, a single-track branch line in Bristol. Services at the time had been reduced along the line from Bristol Temple Meads to Severn Beach, with many services replaced by buses.
Our first action was on 25 September 1995, when a group of protesters met at Avonmouth railway station with buggies and bicycles, to show that buses were not a suitable replacement for trains.
When we widened our scope to campaign for better rail services for the Bristol area, we kept the same acronym – FoSBR – and became Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways.
In 2007, following pressure from FoSBR and others, Bristol City Council agreed to fund extra services on the Severn Beach Line for an initial three years. Passenger numbers immediately rose by 60%, and double-digit growth has continued since then.
FoSBR was part of the successful campaign for the reinstatement of four tracks between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway, which will provide capacity for services to Henbury and improved services to Yate and Gloucester.
In 2023, with new MetroWest stations opening or under construction, FoSBR began campaigning as Bristol Rail Campaign.
Bristol Rail Campaign has over 200 members, and continues to campaign for new, more frequent services and new lines in the Bristol area.